Austin hospital buying adjacent homesPublished 5:56pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013
While Mayo Clinic garners support for its Destination Medical Center expansion project, Mayo Clinic Health System — Albert Lea and Austin is making preparations of its own.
The Austin hospital has bought three properties over the past year, all on First Drive Northwest, though to what purpose hospital officials haven’t said.
Hospital officials bought the home at 1001 First Drive NW, adjacent to the Austin hospital, last month, while the homes at 911 and 907 First Drive NW were sold to the hospital in July 2012. No formal decisions have been made yet for the property, according to a statement released by medical center spokeswoman Jennifer Levisen.
The property came before the Austin Planning Commission in March to be reclassified as a B-1 neighborhood business district, the same as the A&W All-American Food property owned by Gregg Johnson. Johnson said Tuesday A&W would shut down and the property is for sale, although he didn’t say who was buying it. A&W is located next to the other three properties.
City officials said in March the hospital may use the 1001 property as a potential future parking lot, but hospital officials reiterated Tuesday no firm plans were set.