Demolition of St. Francis Hospital could begin as early as this April, according to spokespeople for Cottage Hospital, which plans to replace the old hospital structure, vacant for the past four years, with 115 new homes. Of those, 81 would be sold at below market rates to hospital employees.
Cottage will erect a 12-foot sound wall to help dampen the demolition noise for nearby residents. Likewise, Cottage has concluded videotaping all the existing cracks on nearby properties. This record will provide an evidentiary baseline should noise and vibration during demolition and construction cause collateral damage. This information came out at a sparsely attended neighborhood meeting convened by Cottage officials last Friday night, February 5. Construction is estimated to last at least 20 months and could begin late this summer after demolition, assuming Cottage is given its final permits soon.
Truck traffic—which will be most intense during demolition—will be routed to and from the freeway via Garden Street rather than Mission Street. Cottage officials reported that already 120 employees have qualified for the new homes and that they’ve concluded the lottery to determine who the winners are. The meeting was surprisingly mild, given the concerns of some neighborhood activists who’ve charged the project is too dense for the area and that its environmental impacts have not been adequately addressed.