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Ed Rachal Foundation may buy Christus Spohn Memorial

Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital is due to be torn down in 2020. Currently, only behavioral health services and the county medical examiner’s office are using the building. Other services moved to the newly renovated and expanded location on Shoreline Boulevard. Courtesy photo

Christus Spohn’s Memorial Hospital is now on the market, and the Ed Rachal Foundation wants to buy it. After the Nueces County Hospital District approved sale of all property on which the hospital sits, the Nueces County commissioners also gave their approval at their Dec. 12 meeting. The parcel, which is contained between Morgan Avenue and Buford Street in Corpus Christi, has been appraised at $3.92 million.

Most of the services provided by Memorial Hospital were transferred to Christus Spohn Shoreline in 2017, including its Level-II trauma center. The aging building, which is due to be torn down in 2020, retained the county’s behavioral health services and the medical examiner’s office. The Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center, which was built on adjacent property also owned by the hospital district, will not be affected. It opened in 2017.

The Ed Rachal Foundation is a nonprofit established by the Falfurrias rancher Ed Rachal’s last will and testament. According to the foundation website, the organization’s mission is to benefit “charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes in the state of Texas.” It is governed by a six-member board of directors.

The nonprofit gives large donations to charities and schools, including Driscoll Children’s Hospital, South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, the Salvation Army, the American Heart Association in Austin, and Texas A&M University in College Station.

Recent land purchases by the Ed Rachal Foundation in Corpus Christi have made the news. It bought the “Castle House” on Ocean Drive in March. Plans for the property, which was owned by the late philanthropist Ada Wilson, are to tear down the house and build high-end, multi-family townhomes.

In July, the foundation purchased Frost Bank Plaza, the second-tallest building in downtown Corpus Christi. Plans for the 23-story structure at 802 N. Carancahua St. are to rent space to business professionals and large corporations.

If the Ed Rachal Foundation buys Christus Spohn, it will be responsible for tearing down the structure at its own expense.

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