The City of Fort St. John and Northern Health have agreed to exchange lands, it was announced on Wednesday.
The deal includes the old hospital site on 100 Avenue, which is being transferred to the city in exchange for a 6.63-acre portion of the vacant lands directly east of the new hospital and Peace Villa care home, according to a release.
In a joint statement, the city and Northern Health say the swap provides opportunities to expand health services in the future, and brings the historical hospital site into the city's downtown planning.
“On behalf of the Northern Health Board of Directors, I’m pleased that we and the City of Fort St. John have reached this mutually-beneficial land exchange agreement that will allow for future growth potential at both the old and new hospital sites,” said Northern Health board chair Colleen Nyce. “While the former hospital site has a significant place in the history of local health care, we hope it also has a bright future in Fort St. John’s downtown vision.”
According to the release, the land exchange was initially proposed by the Northern Health Board in 2017. The health authority has no specific or immediate plans to develop its new land near the current hospital.
The old hospital site will be included in the city's "land bank," and the downtown plan currently identifies the site for a variety of mixed-use commercial and retail spaces, education institutions, and residential housing, according to the release.
“This is a significant opportunity to take this historical site and actualize the Downtown Action Plan for the long-term benefit of our community," said Mayor Lori Ackerman. "We look forward to working towards realizing the full potential of the former hospital site."
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