St. Mary's Sells Walker Building|
St. Mary’s Health System has sold the Walker Building, site of the former Welborn Baptist Hospital, to the Kunkel Group, Inc.
St. Mary’s offered the Walker Building for sale at a dual-bid auction on September 1st of this year. Kurtz Auction and Realty handled the auction.
Over one-thousand interested parties viewed the Walker Building on-line and eight potential buyers visited and toured the facility. Bid packages were provided to seven companies. Sealed bids were received on Thursday, October 22nd. The Kunkel Group is one of two companies to present bids and the only conforming bid St. Mary’s received.
“We are excited the Kunkel Group has purchased the property. They have a solid reputation and have done a lot for the revitalization of downtown Evansville. We trust they will return it to good use in the community,” said Tim Flesch, President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System. “This has been a difficult property to sell due to the size of the project and the investment it will take to return it to productive service.”
Flesch continued, “We have had other interest in the property over the past few years and received similar and lesser offers compared to the Kunkel Group’s winning bid of ten dollars. Of concern has been the $600,000 annual carrying costs and the investment needed to convert the property to alternative use. We feel the Kunkel Group made a fair offer – given our history in trying to sell the building and the surrounding lots.”
“The Kunkel Group is thrilled and elated for the opportunity to create another Renaissance project in downtown Evansville,” said Ben Kunkel, President of the Kunkel Group. “St. Mary’s has a tremendous reputation as stewards of the community and this transaction furthers that commitment.”
“We plan to convert the building into a multi-use facility,” Kunkel added. “It will be a combination of residential apartments and commercial office space, as well as small retail. The Walker Building is only two blocks from the new arena and has incredible potential for any professional company. We will issue a press release at a later date discussing the specifics of the project.”
The Walker Building is located at 401 Southeast 6th Street. It is a 258,467 square foot health care facility with seven floors, including a lower level.
Remodeled in 1971 with a three-story addition in 1987, the property encompasses nearly eight acres with more than 3,000 feet of frontage and 569 paved parking spaces.
St. Mary’s is donating medical equipment from the property to the Rotary Club of Evansville, who will then donate the equipment to a hospital and a clinic located in the Yucatan to help treat the medically underserved.