The Historic Ajo Hospital Building has 29,000 Square Feet on over 4 acres with a commanding view of the town and the surrounding Sonoran Desert…
Why this is an Exceptional Property
- It is one of only three properties classed as a Community Activity Center
- It is a few hundred feet from the New Cornelia Open Pit mine, reportedly second only to Organ Pipe National Monument as a local tourist attraction
- It is the only commercial property with a view of historic downtown Ajo
- The four acre site features dramatic topography, ideal for creating spectacular landscape features
Historic Ajo Hospital Building
515 West Hospital Road, Ajo, AZ. 85321
Lot 302, New Cornelia Addition
29,000 Sqare Feet on over 4 acres
Property Classed as CAC (Community Activity Center)
Commanding view of town and surrounding Sonoran Desert
Will Support Intensive Zoning for Hotel/Spa with retail, etc…
Near world renowned Organ Pipe National Monument
The Phelps Dodge hospital was purchased in June 1995 for $210,000. The price was discounted significantly because the utilities had not been connected for over 20 years and much due diligence was not possible. In addition, at that time Phelps Dodge was in the mode of shedding any unnecessary properties. Subsequent to the purchase, the following has been done to add value:
- Connected electric and water successfully. Power and water is functional in the building.
- Planted $10,000 in mature desert trees
- Successfully petitioned Pima County to amend the General Plan and reclassify the subject property to Community Activity Center (most significant to property value)
- Cleaned up and maintained the natural desert vegetation.
Community Activity Center Classification
On September 11, 2007 the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan designating the property as Community Activity Center which allows re-zoning to CB-2. This zoning allows great flexibility for use as a hotel, assisted living facility and the like. In particular, the zoning allows any restaurants, retail or other amenities to be open to the public.
Townspeople were very supportive during the Plan Amendment process; there was no opposition during the public comment period.
The building is situated on a 4 acre hilltop site with a commanding view of the historic town of Ajo and the surrounding mountains. The 28,779 square foot building was constructed by Phelps Dodge (now Freeport McMoRan) in three phases from the 1940′s to 1960′s. Construction is primarily masonry with stucco exterior; footings and floors are poured concrete with reinforcement. The structure is in good condition although a new roof is needed. The architecture is typical for the period with Spanish and Arabic influences.
Potential for Ajo
Ajo is a relatively undiscovered gem among Arizona mining towns. It is located on State Highway 85 just a little more than an hour from Buckeye and the west side of metro Phoenix and about two hours from Tucson.
The wonderful climate, unique desert environment and wide open spaces are factors which attract thousands of Canadian and European tourists to the area. Nearby Organ Pipe National Monument has become a popular destination and a significant source of business for Ajo.
Recent events which are positive factors for the economy of Ajo and the value of the Phelps Dodge Hospital property:
- The $9.5 million renovation of the Curley School for artists’ lofts, art gallery and other amenities.
- Continuing renovation of the town Plaza including the train depot. The Chamber of Commerce now operates a Visitor Center in the depot. Traffic through the new location has increased dramatically in 2013.
- The Visitor Center furnishings, a new town website and other marketing efforts were funded by a $52,000 grant from Freeport McMoRan in 2012. Another grant by Freeport has enabled the Chamber of Commerce to hire personnel to expand IT, Social Media and Marketing efforts in 2013.
- A new headquarters for the Border Patrol, sized for 600 to 900 agents, has been completed just 10 miles south of Ajo.
- In the last two years the local water delivery and sewer systems have been completely rebuilt by the local utility company, a Freeport subsidiary. The streets through the central areas of town have been re-paved.
- There is a growing contingent of part year residents who own homes in Ajo and are making significant investments to refurbish and improve their properties, thereby increasing property values for the town as a whole.