Old Nome Hospital Sells for $450k

Nome’s old hospital has sold for $450,000, and the new owners now have an eBay listing asking for $2.5 million for the 55,000 square-foot facility.

“It’s casting a wide net,” said Jessa Youngblood, a Southern California-based communications assistant and marketer. “We have an eBay listing, we have a Craigslist listing. We posted in a lot of the major markets.”

(Image: Norton Sound G-O LLC.)
(Image: Norton Sound G-O LLC.)

Youngblood is listing the hospital on eBay for Norton Sound G-O LLC,  a limited-liability company formed in January with just one goal: buying Nome’s old hospital. The company is comprised of two men: Jim Gribbens (who splits his time between Nome and California and referred Youngblood as a spokesperson), and Golovin resident and state Senator Donny Olson.

“He worked there for years and years, and Donny had a huge interest in making sure the hospital was preserved in some way, in making sure the property moves forward,” Youngblood said of Olson’s involvement. Phone calls to Olson’s legislative offices in Anchorage were not returned Wednesday.

When the building was functioning as a hospital owned by the Norton Sound Health Corporation, the city assessed its value at $16 million. As a non-profit, Norton Sound never had to pay taxes on that property. Now that it’s not a hospital, the city is assessing it as a warehouse, valuing it for property tax purposes at $1.4 million.

But Norton Sound sold the building on May 2 for far less: about $450,000, Youngblood said. City assessors confirmed the sale price. If the facility is sold at the current asking price on eBay, Gribbens and Olson would stand to make quite a profit.

“Right now the sale price that we have listed is $2.5 million, and that’s based on a simple square footage analysis,” Youngblood said. “We really wanted to put the price at a point where a developer would have room to make an investment in the property. So it’s currently listed at a price that is $45 a square foot for the building.”

As for investment, Youngblood said the property could take the shape of housing, office space, assisted living, or other projects. “We have 55,000 square feet, and its over several city lots, so its an opportunity to create several of these options at one location.”

What the Norton Sound Health Corporation will do with its $450,000 from the sale of the old hospital is unknown. A spokesperson for the hospital did not return calls Wednesday.

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Matthew Smith is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.

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