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Hospital looks to buy, sell east Jackson land

By Ben Graham, Jackson Hole Daily
April 26, 2013

St. John’s Medical Center trustees Thursday approved the purchase and the sale of real estate.

The hospital will sell a vacant residential property it owns in the Daisy Bush subdivision in east Jackson to Habitat for Humanity.

St. John’s will also begin negotiating to buy a 0.64-acre property with a two-story office building located east of the hospital on the south side of Broadway.

Board members said at the meeting they would like to secure more property for hospital use, but they aren’t interested in developing or owning more land for other purposes.

“We’re not into the real estate business,” board President Michael Tennican said, “certainly not into the real estate speculation business,”

After agreeing to go ahead with the sale of the east Jackson property, the board voted to allow Chief Executive Lou Hochheiser to begin working on a deal for the other property, which is zoned office professional.

The Newton Foundation and trustee William C. Newton are the owners, according to county land records.

“As I look at it, for future expansion of the hospital’s needs, it becomes extremely valuable,” Hochheiser said.

St. John’s wouldn’t have considered the acquisition had the property been located farther away from hospital grounds, he said.

“We really are landlocked,” Tennican said. “The options that we have available for building more professional office space are limited because of parking requirements.”

The two parcels differ because of their uses, he said.

“It’s quite different from the Daisy Bush land in that that was designated, as I understand it, for quite a different purpose,” Tennican said.

The hospital purchased the land years ago with the goal of building employee housing. A price hasn’t been set for either transaction, hospital spokeswoman Karen Connelly said.

Hospital employees who qualify would be able to apply for the Habitat housing, she said.

The Broadway property could be used immediately to house the hospital’s child care center and for extra office space, Hochheiser said.

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