It sits empty in the old section of downtown Twin Falls.  Once a hospital, it now attracts the homeless looking for shelter and some neighborhood animals.  It faces the new county courthouse and on another side, City Park.  The property is prime real estate, but only for the land and not the building.  It can’t be retrofitted, because the internal partitions are masonry.  It was fenced off because of fears the homeless could start warming fires and cause a block fire, right next door to St. Edward School.

There are plans to knock down the facility and build townhomes, mimicking those constructed on the opposite side of the park, but demolition costs have soared.  What next?  If it is eventually seized for back taxes, the property would likely be auctioned.  The government has no efficient use for the building.

The city is growing by leaps and bounds, and this probably won’t be the last situation where we see something like this happen.  But many of our older buildings are also a lot more handsome.  The building looks like something sterile straight out of a modern office park.  Maybe some wealthy philanthropist can take it down and donate the land to the school, which has seen enrollment double in recent years, but I don’t see that as reality.  However, it would make St. Edward Parish one of the largest property owners in the valley, stretching out over a whole block and a half.

Any change would seem to benefit the neighborhood.

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