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City councilor calls old Malden Hospital site an eyesore

Posted by Jarret Bencks  September 4, 2013 09:21 AM

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City councilors in Malden tabled a resolution to consider taking the old Malden Hospital site by eminent domain Tuesday, but said they planned to bring it up again at their next meeting.

Councilor Craig Spadafora, who brought the resolution forward with councilor John Matheson, said the city needs to begin getting involved in transforming the site, which has remained idle since the hospital closed in 1999.

"It's becoming more of an eyesore," he said. "If we do not start to take action as a council, it will probably sit there for another 10 years."

The site, which overlooks Fellsmere Park and has views into Boston, has seen a recent uptick in illegal dumping, Spadafora said.

Hallmark Health Corporation, the owner of the 21-acre parcel, had a deal in place to sell the hospital to Deaconess Abundant Life Communities of Concord in 2009, but it fell apart. The land and buildings have an assessed value of $6.1 million, according to city  records.

The health company, which owns several area hospitals, intends to continue to offer the Malden hospital site on the open market, spokesman Richard Pozniak said.

Hallmark Health System has been aggressively marketing the Malden Hospital property but has not yet found a buyer due to a challenging suburban real estate development market," Pozniak said in a statement. "...As we continue to offer the property for sale in the open market, we look forward to a dialogue with the Mayor and the elected officials of Malden on an appropriate use of this property."

Pozniak said the building has around the clock security systems, and that staff visit the site daily.

Matheson said the site has sat dormant long enough, and that taking the land should be considered an option at this point.

"We need to have all options on the table for this site," he said.

Matheson asked to have the resolution tabled until the next council meeting, when he said he expected more information would be available.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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