Old hospital

The former St. Clair County Hospital has sat vacant for more than eight years, but city officials have approved a plan for demolition. Photo by U. Glidewell

The Pell City City Council and St. Clair County Commission approved to move forward with the demolition and abatement of the former St. Clair County Hospital. 

Seven bids were received, all coming in less than the initial $750,000 budget. The low bid by Virginia Wrecking in the amount of $574,143 was unanimously accepted.

“For a project of this specificity, it was good to receive seven bids,” said Pell City City Manager Brian Muenger.

Once approved and permitting in place, the contracted group will have 90 days to begin the demolition and abatement of the property, including debris removal. Total abatement of the site could take up to four months.

The St. Clair County Commission also approved the bid earlier on Tuesday. The city and county share ownership of the facility and the 19 acres surrounding the old hospital. They would equally split the cost of demolition.

Because of the condition of the facility, demolition will be completed using long-arm excavators. 

The building has been vacant for the past eight years, after construction of the new St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital was completed. 

The old hospital location is seen as a prime commercial location next to McSweeney Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership.

Last year, the Pell City Council and St. Clair County Commission approved an option agreement with Bill Ellison, Southside Land Venture LLC, who is marketing the property to potential developers. Ellison has an additional two years to find a purchaser, or has the option to purchase the property for $4 million. 

Ellison has recruited major retailers to Pell City previously, including Walmart, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Publix.

Currently, there are no official firm offers for the property.

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