WATERVILLE — The new owner of the Seton campus of MaineGeneral Health has no set plans for the property, but he isn’t ruling out tearing the main building down.

Developer Kevin Mattson, who has a $500,000 purchase agreement for the campus, said Friday he is still working on what to do with the main building once MaineGeneral leaves it in October 2014.

“It’s tough to figure out what to do with the building, if anything,” Mattson said during a phone interview. “We’re going to take the next six to 12 months to figure out if we can reuse the building.”

The purchase of the 80-acre property by Mattson’s Waterville Development Co. was announced by Chuck Hays, MaineGeneral’s chief executive officer on Thursday.

The largest building is constructed in a way that makes rehabilitating it difficult. With no central air condition and low ceilings, renovations would be challenging. There’s also a stipulation in the agreement that the building cannot be used for other hospital-related functions, Mattson said.

“Basically, if you have a facility that was built for one specific thing and you sell that facility and you say that the one thing it was built for you can’t do, the price is going to drop,” he said.

The $500,000 Mattson bought it for was far lower than the original asking price. The building was appraised in 2012 for $2.5-$3.5 million, according to Hays. Mattson said that he looked beyond the main building when he bought the property.

“Sometimes it’s more than just the building, we’d love to use it if we can,” he said. “But even if you tear down the facility, you still have a parking lot and an infrastructure that is all set. There’s also 50 acres of woodland that we’re excited to figure out what to do with.”

Mattson outlined a scenario where he could see the main building being torn down and rebuilt as office space for state or federal office use. He said he’s open to talking with Waterville officials about the land, including keeping it as greenspace or developing it for residential use. The campus is in a residential area of west Waterville, near Colby College.

“I’d love to be innovative,” Mattson said, adding that most his developments are for office projects. “We’ve had one conversation with Waterville and we plan to have a lot more. That property will be producing a significant amount of taxes for the town for a long period of time.”

The campus is property-tax exempt as a nonprofit entity, but will be taxed once Mattson buys it.

Waterville “is going to go from zero to something,” Mattson said.

Mattson said that two smaller buildings on the Seton campus will remain intact and be leased back to MaineGeneral, but details are still incomplete. A website will also be established in the coming days to provide information to the community about the development process.

The sale is the latest development in an ongoing reorganization that will result in consolidation of the hospital’s inpatient services at its new $312 million Alfond Center for Health in Augusta, while the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville will undergo a $10 million renovation.

The Thayer Center, which will maintain its emergency department, will become the largest free-standing comprehensive outpatient center in Maine, according to Hays.

The Seton campus will provide inpatient services until October 2014, when employees are moved to the Thayer or Hathaway centers.

Earlier in the week, Hays announced the hospital’s plan to move 180 employees to the Hathaway Creative Center in downtown Waterville, joining 150 employees already working at the site.

Mattson bought MaineGeneral’s East Chestnut Street location in Augusta for $2.5 million in December.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239
[email protected]

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