WARNER ROBINS -- The old Houston Mall is now Houston Medical Center property following a Board of Trustees unanimous vote to purchase it for $5.1 million for future expansion.
We are planning, in the future, on moving some of the services that absolutely dont have to be in this building, said board Chairman Sonny Watson, referring to the main hospital on Watson Boulevard.
The board unanimously approved the purchase of the more than 23 acres of land and 350,000 square feet of building space during a called meeting Tuesday. The board also agreed to open bids for a retention pond expansion.
Watson said there are no immediate plans for the Houston Mall property. He said the hospital property, on Watson Boulevard, is bursting at the seams when it comes to parking and expansion space, so the board is being proactive.
Watson said the most immediate move would be the hospitals administrative offices, but that wouldnt be for at least another year.
The hospital inherited the current leases at the mall, Gray said. Watson said they will honor the leases, which are mostly month-to-month.
Were not going over there and pushing anyone out, Watson said.
The chairman added that the hospital intends to maintain its track record of maintaining quality properties.
Houston Healthcare already owned a small portion of the mall before agreeing the purchase. It houses the Houston Health Pavilion, which provides out-patient services.
The board recently filed a certificate of need for a $42 million expansion that includes increasing the size of the 1960s-era surgical suites, a new outpatient surgical unit and a new pain clinic. The hospital also is planning a second cardiac catheterization lab.
The board also approved Tuesday an expansion of the hospital retention pond, which the city and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency require as part of the surgical and cath lab additions.
Bids will be accepted.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.