Charleston Area Medical Center plans to demolish the former Arthur B. Hodges Center nursing home along Morris Street to make room for additional parking for its General Hospital.
Workers have placed temporary fencing around the building to keep out passersby. The hospital plans to tear down the building soon, CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said.
"We're in the process of demolishing it," he said.
After the Hodges Center closed in 2003, the CAMC Foundation bought it for $6 million. Officials had planned to remodel the building for other uses, but that didn't pan out. CAMC has instead used the building for storage.
"We've explored general uses for it, but nothing was a good fit," Witte said. "It's just too costly to try and convert the building for any type of hospital use because the building codes have changed since it was built."
Witte said hospital officials have decided the best use for the land right now is for parking.
The building takes up about two-thirds of the block along Morris and Lewis streets.
"Tearing down that building will give us 212 parking spaces," Witte said.
He said officials have not yet decided if that parking will be for hospital staff or for visitors. That decision will be made in the coming weeks.
He also said the property may not remain a parking lot indefinitely.