Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

May 3, 2013

Developer tries to save city building

Gainesville — Property on O’Neal Street in Gainesville, formerly a longstanding home of the city’s hospital and officially declared a nuisance in recent months, stands to be razed.

But its recovery may come from a development team, now ordered to post a $1.5 million bond and provide resources to turn the former Gainesville Memorial Hospital building into a facility that meets city compliance.

The plan of Dallas-based Modern Sustainable Life to provide the city with a 99-bed assisted living facility at 1410 O’Neal St. will be formally heard again on May 23, when the Gainesville Building and Standards Commission meets and is — or is not — presented with proof of the bond.

“All I need is the right coordination with city leaders,” said Tom Kristof of Modern Sustainable Life.

But under the terms of the commission’s most recent order, if no bond is given, the city will begin demolition on the building 31 days after the meeting.

“A demolition has not been technically ordered,” Gainesville Community Services Director John Noblitt said Thursday.

The proposed facility has been in flux since 2010. Kristof, a finance and software specialist, explained Thursday he did not begin as the project’s developer; he said his “passive investment” in the O’Neal Street property began in 2007.

His initial interest, he said, was in seeing an assisted living center developed in light of observing elder relatives suffer from quality-of-care issues.

He invested funds in a separate company that held ownership and he said he intended to watch them successfully create a new center in Gainesville that provided service and jobs.

“I didn’t know I was going to be thrown into the fire,” he said. “It appears that the lease that was signed was never valid, or the company went out of business.”

A Register story from 2008 explained that half of the old hospital building had entered foreclosure while the other multi-level half was sold in November 2005, for $300,000.

The foreclosed half had evidently been owned by Investors Equity Group. The official sale followed the building’s official vacancy earlier during 2005, when the new North Texas Medical Center entered full operation on Highway 82 in Gainesville.

Kristof’s stake in the property became “a full-time job” in 2010.

During that year, he met with Gainesville City Council and discussed development possibilities for the old hospital building, such as a media center or another medical facility not necessarily used for assisted living.

At that point, the project went into a freeze as Kristof, the new owner, delved into research on development, capital and architecture.

“I had to figure out what it would take to run it,” he said. “I had to run a market study and do a business plan.”

Once it was originally vacated in 2005, the old hospital building served some public use; it was briefly made available as a shelter to Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

But in following years, it has reportedly become a squatter’s haven — entered and occupied at random — and a city demolition proposes to solve this very problem.

“Our intent is to cleanly remove a public nuisance if necessary,” Noblitt said.

But Kristof said Thursday he maintains hope toward fruition.

He explained that if the bond is posted and the project proceeds, the contracted Horizon Power Systems will “bring engineers to town” and the assisted living facility may proceed at some date in the near future, a date still undetermined.

“I’m going to have to walk this out through faith, and faith in business,” he said.

And Kristof added that he understands the city’s position and the inclination from officials to remove the old hospital building and change what some have seen as a stagnant, hazardous landscape.

“Gainesville is a good place and I’m not trying to buck the system,” he said. “I’m just trying to make the needs known and bring the right people together. We have good land, good people and a good building can be renovated.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • movie Movie team set to film in Gainesville

    The City of Gainesville was recently selected as the exclusive site for the new movie “Windsor.”

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • river Red River boundary disputed now and then

    The Red River boundary controversy is not new and over decades has involved land, politics, oil, cattle, court orders, war, American Indians, and desperadoes. And one dispute was even used as Nazi propaganda during World War II.
    The current boundary controversy concerns private property and federal land claims.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • swing Swing band school returning to Gainesville

    Young musicians who enjoy a love of western swing bands will be learning from one of the best at the fifth annual Big Texas Swing School to be held July 15-19 at North Central Texas College in Gainesville.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • school Walnut Bend ISD to offer new amenities

    New technology, free school supplies and a free lunch and breakfast program await students attending Walnut Bend Independent School District (Walnut Bend ISD) this fall.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Military surplus program restored for fire departments

     The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reversed a recent decision to cut a popular program that provides surplus military trucks, tankers and other vehicles to rural fire departments.

    July 11, 2014

  • drug sentence Defendant sentenced to 25 years for cocaine possession

    Carl Andrew Walker, 54, of Wichita, Kan. recently pleaded guilty to the first degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced by the 235th Distict Court to 25 years confinement.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • donation Landmark bank provides donation

    Landmark Bank recently donated $1,865 to Home Hospice of Cooke County.
    Home Hospice of Cooke County is an institution that cares for those in the final stages of life, regardless of their ability to pay.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • rotary Geyer speaks at Rotary Club

    Sandy Geyer of the Butterfield Stage talks Wednesday to Gainesville Rotary Club members about the organization’s upcoming production “Annie Get Your Gun.”

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Muenster City Council appoints new police chief

    The Muenster City Council appointed Sgt. Tom Barr as the new chief of police after former police chief Mark Blankenship submitted his resignation, according to the July 7 unofficial minutes.

    July 10, 2014

  • 'Annie Get Your Gun' opens July 17

    Ticket sales are brisk for Butterfield “Annie Get Your Gun” — the final production of the 2013-2014 season.

    July 10, 2014

Featured Ads
Poll

What are your plans for the upcoming vacation season?

Stay close to home.
Take the trip of a lifetime.
See more of the fabulous sites in Texas.
Haven't decided.
     View Results
Facebook
Twitter Feed
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide