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Residents grow impatient after failed attempts to renovate former hospital

There’s yet another chapter in the saga that is the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Hannibal and the plans to renovate it.

The abandoned building is on full display for those that drive by and live in this neighborhood. Residents said they are tired of seeing the broken windows and overgrown brush that comes with it.

For three years now, Jessica Noel has lived in her home across the street from the former St. Elizabeth Hospital and for three years she’s had to watch the former hospital fall apart.

“The best deal is if it gets rebuilt very soon, not waiting for another couple of years,” said Noel.

That’s not the only issue. She said she’s had to call the cops on multiple occasions because of people breaking in and vandalizing the place.

“People will come in groups and walk around with their flashlights or with their cellphone lights on going through to see if they can break in,” said Noel.

Noel and other residents have heard about the grand plans to renovate the building time and time again. Just last year a group of investors from out of state were set to transform the old hospital into low income senior housing.

But the project relies on a state tax incentive that has yet to be awarded. City officials said that investment group is out but now a new one from St Louis has picked up the torch.

“I just, if that would happen, I would be very up for it but I don’t see that happening in the next few months,” said resident Lana Link.

And a few months is all the more some residents say they are willing to wait. If they don’t see any action soon, they said they’d rather see the building demolished.

“I just don’t see anybody repairing it or bringing it back to life so I really think that it should probably just come down,” said Link.

City officials said since the new investment group is from Missouri, they’re more familiar with the type of tax incentive the low income senior housing project requires. Officials hope that gives them a leg up the next time the project is considered but there’s no word on when that would be.

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Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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