Why isn't the former St. Mary's Medical Center being easily and affordably converted into affordable senior housing units? Needed plumbing and electrical conversion costs would be minimal, compared to new construction to help to meet this growing need in our community.
Remember are few years back when Duluthians turned over their $64 million in equity in their Miller-Dwan Medical Center to Essentia Health, for nothing. St. Mary's Medical Center would be an ideal long-term fit for senior housing for generations. Perhaps best of all, residents could receive health care close to home. Cub Foods, or another regional grocery chain, could open a grocery store/deli in the building. St. Mary's Medical Center even has a church on campus.
The new St. Mary's senior housing center would be a community within a community.
To Essentia Health: Gift the world-class St. Mary's Medical Center for $1 to a new or existing non-profit housing organization, rather than simply tearing it down for surface parking. Duluth needs affordable senior and workforce housing more than it needs a new state-funded UMD healthcare building on the Essentia campus.