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San Benito
April 14, 2024

Demo underway at old Convalescent Hospital

Demolition started on the old convalescent hospital on Southside Road to make way for plans to build 25 units of self-help housing.

Community Services Development Corp. acquired the property at 3100 Southside Road from the county in the fall of 2016, said CSDC Executive Director Sonny Flores. The site is the former home of the Hazel Hawkins Convalescent Hospital, which closed 15 years ago when residents moved into the Mabie Skilled Nursing Facility.

“We’re hoping to do 25 units of self-help housing,” Flores said Friday.

See video scenes from the demo. Story continues below.

CSDC is working with South County Housing and received a $119,000 technical assistance grant to develop the housing, Flores said.

All the remediation to the building was done in early April, while CSDC was cleared for a demo this week. Flores expects the demolition to be done by month’s end.

“We’re meeting with planning and trying to finalize our engineering plans,” Flores said. “So we’re hoping to have those up for review in the next three months or so and hopefully approved by the end of the year.”

At that point, CSDC can go out to bid for improvements and hopes to have a project done in 1.5 to two years.

Self-help housing is a concept in which lower-income residents take part in building their own homes.

-Story and photos by Kollin Kosmicki