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City-parish in talks to acquire old Woman's Hospital

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BATON ROUGE - The exact terms of the deal aren't yet public, but News 2 has learned the East Baton Rouge city-parish wants to buy the former Woman's Hospital campus and use it for a law enforcement complex, including a new headquarters for Baton Rouge Police.

During a budget hearing on Nov. 15, Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White included the hospital as a possible location to pursue when speaking before Metro Council members.

"There are some properties like Physicians Tower at Woman's Hospital in mid-city that are certainly attractive," he said.

White added no prisoners would be housed at the facility and it would be strictly used for police business, similar to the Louisiana State Police campus on Independence Boulevard.

Baton Rouge Police submitted a supplemental request to the 2013 budget asking for $87.6 million for a new police headquarters and training complex. The request wasn't directly denied, and instead the mayor's office responded in the budget, saying: "securing a new headquarters continues to be a top priority of this administration."

During the hearing, Metro Council Member Chandler Loupe asked Chief White if $16 to $18 million was the price tag on 40,000 square feet of the property, and White replied, "That is correct." 

East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel wouldn't comment on the acquisition, and Woman's Hospital directed all of our questions to Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, the Realtor and brokerage firm the hospital is using.

Neighborhoods surrounding the old Woman's Hospital campus were fearful the property would become a charity hospital. 

"The community has been somewhat concerned about what will happen to the old Woman's Hospital. If the parish would take it over and put city police in there, I think that would go over good with the community here," Broadmoor resident M.J. Chustz said.


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