Thursday, October 27, 2016

More Demolitions: General Hospital and Edgewater Cafe

Salem General Hospital - Maternity Unit, 1980s
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
In addition to the Belluschi Bank, the City has a couple of other interesting demolition permits in the queue.

The Hospital must be getting the old General Hospital property ready for sale and redevelopment, probably hoping to piggy-back on the North Campus at the State Hospital. They have demolition permits lined up for the former Hospital and Rehab building, the former Maternity Ward, and a third building right under the cemetery.

General Hospital buildings to be demolished
(Dome Building at State Hospital on right for context)
Permits were issued on the 11th, and it seems unlikely they'll linger unexecuted. Maybe you will feel otherwise, but they buildings don't seem to have much in the way of historic value; and even though the Maternity Ward looks like it might be in decent enough shape to reuse, it still might be too costly to reconfigure for residences or anything useful.

Even if they were in great shape, as with the North Campus the buildings are set on the interior of a campus too far from the streets, and they don't make sense as urban forms.

From here it is interesting to register the demolition, but not something to fret over.

Former Edgewater Cafe at Patterson - via Streetview
The former Edgewater Cafe building on Edgewater at Patterson has a demolition application, and it says
Full demo of vacant building that has already undergone abatement. Lot to be replaced with asphalt paving
Well the building's not great, and maybe it needs to be demolished. (Here's Eat Salem with a review from 2011.) But the lot should be redeveloped! You wonder if maybe the SRC's "cloud" reduces interest in redevelopment here. Even with the shiny new Goodwill project just down the street. Whatever it may be, a surface lot certainly isn't the vision in the Edgewater Action Plan!

Edgewater/Second Street Action Plan
Since many of the basic bones of an early 20th century "main street" remain on Edgewater, this demolition seems more sad and a deeper loss. Edgewater has so much potential! Hopefully the demolition and lot paving will be temporary and a prelude to something more vital.


Walker said...

Now we see clearly our hopeless situation where landowners are rewarded with lower tax assessments for demolishing buildings. A nice piece of asphalt, thank goodness, we can never have too many of those!

Salem clearly shows the value of shifting to land-value taxation ... let the owners enjoy any gain they reap from their investments in structures, but tax them fully on the land-value (none of which is created by the owner, being instead a function of publi investment and social capital deriving from the land location).

Anonymous said...

Demolition has already begun on the hospital building on 23rd. I didn't know the background, but I drove past it today and noticed the wreckers.

Susann Kaltwasser said...

The demolition of the buildings on the North Campus is a sad waste of taxpayer investment. Costing $8.2 million to destroy those buildings when there is an offer from a coalition of 14 businessmen with money in hand and a promise to invest $150 million in renovations and new structures was rejected by DAS. One of the reasons given was....the Legislature gave us money to tear it down and sell it. It costs money to delay to investigate the worthiness of this new offer, and we don't want to have to go back to the Legislature and ask for more money if it doesn't pan out. That is outrageous!

The investors have letters of intent from 5 educational institutions to put satellite programs on the campus. What better use can there be?

Also, learned that McMenamin's was interested in the Dome building.

The city is not in favor it was reported, because they want to buy the park land and Yaquina Hall. The offer from the developer group was to give the park land to the city and the would consider selling Yaquina to the city, as well.

Still can't understand why this offer was not taken seriously. Someone close to the area claims it is political only. Not based on sound reasoning or cost effectiveness.

And so it goes in Salem!