Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital doesn’t have to look far for answers to an important question.
Since the hospital needs to expand its Mack Road campus, it’s considering a 9-acre site just to the west which will also create a gateway for the medical complex.
Mercy officials made their pitch to Fairfield City Council on a concept plan to build three buildings, one of which is a 30,000-square-foot medical office building. Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital President Justin Krueger said while they’re still trying to figure out what would go into that proposed medical office space, he said the hospital is “tapped out” of room to grow, and the concept plan represents that “next phase of growth.”
“As a result of the ever-increasing need we continue to have, we are challenged with space on our campus,” he said. “As a part of this, it’s important to continue to expand when the health care needs of the community call for it.”
He later added, “This could quite possibly become the gateway for our hospital campus, something that we could really, really excited about.”
In addition to the medical office building, the concept plan calls for two other buildings, an 8,400-square-foot multi-tenant retail building and a 4,125-square-foot restaurant. Both buildings will have a drive-thru component, according to the concept plan submitted to the city on March 2, and will help offset the startup costs related to site acquisition and construction, Krueger said.
“Candidly, our proforma works if we can offset some of those significant startup costs associated with such growth in the form of additional ground rents which a retail presence could help us provide,” he said.
Bon Secours Mercy Health, the parent organization of the Fairfield hospital, has not yet taken title to the property, said Nick Wessels, development manager of real estate development. Wessels and Krueger said the hospital is not in a place to consider a timeframe or potential tenants.
“We’re under contract to purchase it pending this concept PUD approval,” Wessels said, adding they anticipate closing on the 9-acre parcel this summer, but the company does not anticipate any immediate construction plans. “We are still working through our concept designs and trying to decide as to what exactly is going to be located in this medical office building.”
The parcel is currently part of a 29-acre parcel owned by Benzing LLC. The northern 20 acres of the parcel was recently rezoned for a residential community. The southern 9 acres was not part of that rezoning request.
The Mercy Health concept plan and PUD request will be presented to the Fairfield Planning Commission on April 13 for further discussion, before going back to Fairfield City Council for second and third legislative readings.
The concept plan does have the support of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, said President and CEO Kert Radel. He said the development of the site “will greatly enhance the city and the business landscape in the city of Fairfield” and “we need to be able to develop and move ahead.”
“I think it’s good for the city and I think the chamber feels it’s good for the city and it’s good for the business community,” Radel said.
If the concept plan is approved, a similar process is followed with the final development plan, in which the details of the project will be reviewed, presented, and scrutinized.