AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — What could be the future of the Old Hospital Property? Developers are working with a company to figure out what’s needed. “We’re very excited about doing this,” Al Saad told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
Saad is no stranger to the development business. As director of a commercial real estate firm in Columbia, he has had his share of redeveloping spaces. “I’ve done mostly commercial development, but we have bought and sold and developed apartment projects,” he recalled.
Now, he and his business partner, Charles Small, want to bring their expertise to Aiken, South Carolina. We’ve learned an ordinance shows that the partners will pay “no less” than $1.15 million for 9.33 acres of property on Richland Avenue West. “We’re going to be looking to use opportunity zone financing to develop it. It’s also a historical building so, we had hoped to use historical tax credits and abandon building credits to save us money for development,” he shared.
A feasibility study is now in the works to figure out what could be brought to the location. Saad envisions it could include apartments, commercial, or even space for the hospitality industry. “If we knew what we were going to do today, we would be starting on drawings. That would take several months to get the construction drawings done, and we’d be submitting them to the city and the County for approval. We’d be walking through that process,” Saad shared.
“There’s a lot of interest to bring more apartments into the downtown area and the old hospital complex is certainly on the west side of that downtown but still within walking distance,” Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker said in a previous interview with Shawn.
Saad thinks that the new project will be great for the City of Aiken and the location will allow even more options in the All America City. “The land is now owned by the County and it’s producing no tax income. So whatever we develop, some tax incentives would spur development in that area and it would generate more income for the City and the County. “
Once plans are finalized, it will be a 12 to 18 month construction period before the location is finished.