Riverbank Properties, LLC, which is owned by Whitefish venture capitalist and well-known philanthropist Michael Goguen, recently purchased the 12-acre property on the corner of U.S. Highway 93 South and East 13th Street.
According to Dominic Cerulli, the real estate company has no immediate plans for the property other than improving the site and removing the “eyesore.”
“There are no future development plans at this point,” Cerulli said. “We’re just going to take down the buildings and get rid of the eyesore.”
The nearly 100,000-square-foot building has stood vacant since North Valley Hospital moved to its current location in 2007, and Cerulli said razing the building will open up valuable green space that includes 640 feet of frontage along the Whitefish River.
The building is festooned with graffiti and is boarded up, and Cerulli said a leaking roof has caused considerable water damage.
The existing building is no longer useable. Cerulli said demolition will begin this summer.
Along with the demolition, crews will remove fuel tanks, and Cerulli said all of the work involving hazardous materials would be through a certified contractor with the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The Aspen Group of Scottsdale, Ariz., purchased the 11.75-acre plot of land in June of 2007 for $6.4 million. The firm had plans to build a 51-home resort-style development, but those plans never came to fruition.
In 2013, developers with River Opportunity Project Enterprise in Whitefish purchased the property and held a series of community discussions about the possibility of locating a four-year higher education institution at the old North Valley Hospital site. Those plans did not materialize.
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