A Davenport, Iowa property developer has withdrawn his proposal to renovate the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital building in Hannibal.Chris Ales of Ales and Company recently contacted City Manager Jeff LaGarce  to express interest in developing senior housing on the property located at Virginia Street and Broadway Extension.

Ales requested a spot on the city council agenda for August 16.  He was seeking an endorsement from the council to improve his chances of qualifying for tax credits. According to his letter addressed to the City Manager, Ales proposed scaling back the project.  The newer sections of the building  would be demolished.  The older, original portion would be remodeled and repurposed into one and two bedroom apartments.

However, with the deadline looming for applying for Missouri Housing and Development Commission tax credits, Ales called City Manager Jeff LaGarce and requested the proposal be withdrawn.  Ales said after conferring with his colleagues, it was decided there was not enough time to do justice to all the paperwork.

Ales has expressed interest in coming back with a similar proposal next year.  This would afford more time to complete the tax credit paperwork.  However, the dilemma for the city is: Can the building sit vacant another year before something is done?  The deteriorating, empty building has been the site of vandalism, break-ins, and even a fire.

The city has repeatedly contacted the current owner regarding property maintenance issues. LaGarce says if the city were to step-in and demolish the structure, it would cost taxpayers up to 3/4 of a million dollars.