Neighbors weigh in on future of ECM property in Florence

FLORENCE, Ala. – As demolition of a vacant hospital property continues, Florence leaders are developing plans for the land. Planners are in the public input stage of the urban renewal project that has a lot of eyes watching.

The scale of the demolition project is huge. Crews are methodically taking down the old Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital piece by piece. An undertaking which is expected to last up to one year.

“The 12 acres or so that is there, generally is being looked at for residential,” stated Florence Mayor Steve Holt.

Once the demolition is complete, the city of Florence and Lauderdale County will receive the property. City council members have already rezoned it for residential housing.

People living close to the site, are being given a chance to weigh-in on what happens next.

“Comments about making sure it fits in and looks like the rest of the area and not something that is cookie cutter, but not also just something that doesn’t fit,” Holt explained.

Concepts of what the area could look like have already been drawn out. A consensus among neighbors and city leaders – no one wants condo’s or apartments on the site.

“In my opinion, everything at this point, points to something like senior housing and single family dwellings,” said Holt. “That’s going to blend in to the neighborhood.”

Mayor holt says there is still a lot of planning to do, and once the demolition is complete, they will be ready.

WHNT News 19 is being told the University of North Alabama is looking at an existing medical office building near the ECM site for possible redevelopment to help with expanding programs they currently have.

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