MADISON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 560,000 sq. foot building in Madison could be a site for overflow patients should the COVID-19 pandemic surge this month.
Charles Jones owns Due West Towers off I-65 and wanted to donate a portion of his building to medical use. Another section could be temporary housing for tornado victims, with 21 rooms already renovated.
Jones was working to make three floors of one tower a senior living apartment units. The medical tower hasn’t been touched since HCA Healthcare moved out of the building in 2005. Before that, the building was home to Nashville Memorial Hospital until around 2000 when the hospital closed.
“When I saw on the news there was going to be tents set up, at Nissan Stadium or Music City Center, it just made sense. Why not use a medical room that’s got a nurses station, it has wards,” Jones’ Capital Advisor Charles Parker said. “It’s dual-purpose really, there are tornado victims that need it, and there are ill people that need it. We’re just making it available.”
Parker said he’s been in contact with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and city council members to evaluate the space. After a tour with Vanderbilt, it was determined that about 140 beds could be available if the space needed to be opened up.
“As Nashvillians, that’s what gets us through this, is to come together and to stop what we’re doing and really just take care of people in need,” Parker said.
Jones also recently acquired the old Macy’s in the Rivergate Mall. After the tornadoes, he wanted to donate those racks of clothes to any victims.
In order to make the Due West Towers a one-stop-shop, he had the clothes moved into the Madison building in hopes that churches could help aid that relief need.
“We still have all of the clothing that’s new and still has the tags on it as to what the price was. People can just come in, what we want to do is let a church bus bring in like 25 people at a time and they can shop there and pick out a certain number of pieces for each family member,” Jones said.
Jones and Parker say if officials need to utilize the space, it’s up for grabs. But it all depends on if a potential surge in COVID-19 cases affects the need in Middle Tennessee.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.