The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved the sale by auction of county-owned land on Chanate Road in Santa Rosa that had been the site of various hospitals and other health care facilities since 1876.
The board earlier this month approved the bid of $15.05 million made by Las Vegas developer and real estate broker Eddie Haddad, whose winning bid was revealed Tuesday, Nov. 9. The sale is scheduled to conclude with the close of escrow on Dec. 22.
The board also authorized staff to enter into an alternative and contingent sale agreement with City Ventures Homebuilding LLC, which had the second highest bid of $15 million.
Selling the property, which has annual carrying costs of nearly $1 million, has long been a goal of the Board of Supervisors, according to county officials.
“It’s been a long road and it’s very exciting to take this step,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Board of Supervisors.
The 71-acre property was bought by Sonoma County in 1874 when it was a working farm, according to a county history of the property.
Hillcrest County Hospital opened two years later for ailing and impoverished residents, starting a long line of health services-related facilities on the property.
The county built a new hospital on the land in 1936 and in 1939, Oak Knoll Sanitarium (now Norton Behavioral Health Center) was built on the south side of Chanate Road for treatment of tuberculosis patients, funded in large part by the federal Public Works Administration, one of the New Deal programs launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.
The hospital expanded over the years and was eventually sold to Sutter Health in 1996.
At the end of 2014, Sutter Health vacated the buildings and relocated to a new facility near U.S. Highway 101 and Mark West Springs Road. The county’s former hospital buildings are currently vacant, according to the county website.