Deal for sale of former Aiken County Hospital still on track

Oct. 13 – The deal for the sale of the former Aiken County Hospital is still set to close by the end of this year.

“We are confident that the December 31 deadline will be met,” Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker said earlier this week.

In May, following an executive session, the County Board approved a motion authorizing Bunker, County Administrator Clay Killian and County Attorney Brad Farrar “to sign on behalf of Aiken County an appropriate endorsement to the contract of purchase and sale. …”

The purchase price for the old hospital has risen from “no less than $1.15 million” to $2.094 million.

Additionally, the buyer changed from 828 Richland Associates LLC to Aiken Lofts Manager LLC.

Aiken Lofts Manager’s registered agent is CT Corporation System of Columbia, according to the South Carolina Secretary of State’s website.

The Aiken Standard originally reported that Columbia real estate developers Charles I. Small and Al Saad were partners in the purchase of the old hospital.

Small is the registered agent of 828 Richland Associates.

But more recently, John Gumpert played a leading role in acquiring the historic building and other structures on a 9.44-acre lot at 828 Richland Ave. West in Aiken.

Gumpert is the president of Camden Management Partners Inc. in Atlanta, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Killian recently said that Gumpert is “aligning his finances and his investors; he was doing his due diligence.

“Rising interest rates made him look for different financing,” Killian added. “I spoke to him…and he’s still working on a closure.”

The Old Hospital is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built before World War II.

After the brick structure ceased to be a medical facility, it served as the seat of county government.

In 2014, a new headquarters, the Aiken County Government Center, opened on University Parkway.

The old hospital is currently vacant.

“We’ll be happy to take it out of county hands, and once it’s redeveloped, we’ll be even happier to see it added to the tax rolls,” Bunker said. “It’s still a small ongoing expense (to the county) and furthermore it generates no tax revenue as it currently does.”

In July, Aiken City Council approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that rezoned the property from the former office/institutional hospital to planned residential.

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