The site once expected to house an Elko New Market clinic will no longer be owned by Northfield Hospital & Clinics.

The hospital Board of Directors on Thursday approved selling the empty property, at the intersection of County Road 2 and France Avenue, to Kwik Trip Stores for $800,000. The offer will be presented to the Northfield City Council next month.

The health system purchased the 4.08 acres in 2011 for $710,900 with the hope of turning the land into the clinic, but the plan never came to fruition.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics Chief Operating Officer Jerry Ehn said the site was purchased with the idea that the city of Elko New Market would rapidly grow, but the Great Recession reduced the pace of expansion, and that slowdown has not recovered.

Until 2015, the health system operated FamilyHealth Medical Center, housed in a rental space in a small mall nearby in Elko New Market. It had hoped to make the empty property the permanent clinic location.

“We were averaging less than 10 patients per day and could no longer lose hundreds of thousands of dollars annually at that clinic,” Ehn said.

At the time, hospital staff estimated 70 percent of patients who received care in the Elko New Market clinic also went to other FamilyHealth clinics in Lakeville, Lonsdale, Northfield and Farmington.

The money from the sale is expected to be used to provide other services, such as the nearly $15 million Northfield Hospital & Clinics expansion project.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115.

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