Delaware: Nonprofit Group Exercises Option to Buy Clinic Site; AIDS Patients, Residents Criticize Proposed Condos
June 20, 2005
On Thursday, the board of directors of the nonprofit housing group Brandywine Gateway Neighbors (BGN) exercised its option to buy the Wilmington Hospital Annex, a site now home to Delaware's only full-service clinic for AIDS patients. The four-story building, formerly the Red Clay Consolidated School District's administration building, was bought by the city in 2000 for $1.3 million. The city then sold the property to Christiana Care, with a clause that allowed BGN to buy it within five years.
Roughly a dozen patients of the clinic protested outside Hanover Presbyterian Church where the board meeting was held. "This decision was profit over people," said Bukhari Mutee, an AIDS patient who uses the clinic.
"It's a major problem for us," said Christiana Care spokesperson Bill Schmitt. "We serve the health care needs of more than 750 patients at this location, and there's no room for it at the hospital." Wilmington has one of the highest AIDS rates in the country. Officials have not said when the clinic will have to relocate.
BGN's board will be negotiating with Midtown Development of Baltimore, which wants to build a 10-story building with 46 condominium units to replace the four-story brick clinic. The units will sell for about $550,000 each. BGN will purchase the property for about $2 million and sell it to Midtown Development for $3 million.
The desire to make a profit was what prompted the sale, according to Jessica Reed, the only board member who voted against the proposal. Wilmington's city-run Urban Development Action Grant Corp. has awarded BGN $300,000 a year since the early 1980s, but that funding will end in 2007 or 2008.
News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)
06.17.05; Adam Taylor
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.