It's a hospital with a sprawling campus and a wide reach in the community. But Covenant Healthcare is expanding its influence by buying surrounding properties.
“If we can help in removing some of the blight in the area, cleaning up the neighborhood, we would love to do that,” said Kristin Knoll, a Covenant Healthcare spokesperson.
Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw is doing what it can to be a great community partner.
Hospital officials say over the last 15 years they have taken part in a program with the city of Saginaw and the Saginaw County Land Bank to buy vacant properties near its campus all in an effort to make the surrounding area look better.
Knoll said this hospital is doing all it can to be a great community partner.
“For example the CMU College of Medicine, if wouldn’t have had that program in place 10 years ago we probably wouldn’t have had the place for CMU College of Medicine to build right on our campus,” Knoll said.
Saginaw County Treasurer Tim Novak said the program is a win-win for the hospital and Saginaw.
“I drive through the Schaefer Hill neighborhood every day when I come to work or take my kids to school,” Novak said. “It is better and the areas are improving.”
Some residents voiced concern to TV5 that Covenant has priority over private citizens who may want to buy land near the hospital.
But Novak said if a prospective buyer is caught up with taxes has, no code violations, and completes the appropriate paperwork, the property should be theirs.
“If a resident has all of his/her ducks in a row and meets all those criteria, you know if you live next door to it I believe you should get the property," Novak said.
Knoll said Covenant is willing to sell some property on a case by case basis, but they are always keeping their options open.
“We don’t have any specific plans for anything,” Knoll said. “It’s more of just looking 5 to 10 years out in the future and if something were to present itself having the space available to do so.”
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