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Deal signs legislation for Central State Hospital building plans

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signs HB 495 and SR 788 for Central State Hospital to move forward with plans to revitalize old building.
MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – On Tuesday, Governor Nathan Deal signed two pieces legislation that will allow leaders in Milledgeville to find a new purpose for Central State Hospital.

The Redevelopment Authority Director for the hospital, Mike Couch says the initiative is a new beginning for the city.

House bill 495 and Senate resolution 788 will assist the leaders of the authority with their mission to repurpose the building.

"We need, number one, a way to make the property available…surplus the property to the state needs. And then secondly, we needed a process to expedite our ability to get the property moved on to it's new owner," says Couch.

Couch adds the purpose of getting Deal to sign the legislature is so the organization can make plans and move forward when they want without having to wait for approval when the House is in session.

"House bill 495-I call it the market ready piece-that's really the bill that makes us have the ability to negotiate and take transactions to the state property commission," says Couch.

The overall goal is to see the old hospital building thrive in Milledgeville’s business market.

Redevelopment authority leaders will start with a plan to market to old building to future investors and buyers.

I've got a great partner coming out of Chicago-CRE-in June to help us establish a new master plans, and define assets and potential markets.

Couch believes its time to bring more job opportunities to the area after the hospital has been inactive for years.

"There's never going to be state hospital again. There's never going to be a mental institution, but it can be a vibrant contributor for Milledgeville and Baldwin County."

But he and his team understand it will take time and preparation to repurpose the building for future companies.

"We have buildings, we have land, we've got utilities, let's put it back to work."
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