Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel speaks during a news conference Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at Lincoln Park in Chattanooga, Tenn., which was held by Mayor Andy Berke to announce plans to preserve the historic park. Some neighborhood residents had opposed previous plans to extend Central Avenue through the area.Photo by Doug Strickland.
Erlanger Health System’s planning committee has approved a land swap that would allow the hospital to follow through with its pledge to turn over 5 acres of Lincoln Park property to the city.
In return for the property, which is located behind the hospital in the historic Lincoln Park neighborhood, the city will provide the hospital with about 8 acres of land in Alton Park to be used for the future construction of a new Southside Community Health Center.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke originally announced in August that the hospital planned to donate the property to the city to be preserved.
But the announcement was made before Erlanger board members could vote on the issue, and trustees bristled at the proposal—saying the hospital could not afford to donate the property without receiving some kind of like compensation.
The property the city will swap for the Lincoln Park land is on the corner of 38th Street and Ohls Avenue, by the Villages at Alton Park.
Erlanger leaders said they hoped to one day build a new Southside Community Health Center at the site. Erlanger’s board must still hold a final vote Thursday before the transaction is complete.
With the pledge to preserve Lincoln Park, city and hospital leaders have said they hope to push forward long-held plans to create a Central Avenue extension that would reach to Amnicola Highway.
For more details, read Tuesday’s Times Free Press.