Mayor touts Hendrick Medical Center expansion, some neighbors express concern

Mayor touts Hendrick Medical Center expansion, some neighbors express concern

ABILENE, Texas - Over the last five years Hendrick Medical Center has been expanding its campus on and around Pine Street.  

The hospital has been buying up homes and businesses, demolishing them and building new buildings all along Pine.

"Pine Street is a main entryway into Abilene," Mayor Norm Archibald said.

Archibald, also vice president at Hendrick Health System, said he wants to make sure it leaves a good impression on visitors. The hospital has been expanding its campus in that area for years.

"I'm very pleased to say that it beautified Pine Street a whole lot, but a lot of that meant getting rid of some old buildings...a lot of that has been bought up and a lot of that has been taken down," Archibald said.

The largest hospital expansion project was finished in 2012. It was called The 2010 Project and it cost $80 million, but the hospital hasn't stopped buying surrounding properties since that project ended.

Wednesday, the hospital was working on tearing down the old Walker Furniture store.

"We bought that property, I guess we've had it almost a year, but we're just now coming to the point of going ahead and tearing it down and making way for some future expansion someday," Archibald said. 

However, the hospital's good neighbor policy is not sitting well with some. We talked to several people who live nearby who did not want to be identified. They told us they are unhappy with the expansion and feel like the hospital is "running them out of the neighborhood."

"We're a lot bigger campus than we used to be, but as a result of that we had to buy some properties that have old buildings on it. That's a lot of what people see along the way," Archibald said.

Several of the neighbors we spoke with said they have been approached by HeNdrick's realtor to sell their homes to the hospital and others are concerned about their streets being closed for hospital expansion.

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