In presiding over the ceremonial groundbreaking this morning, Metro Health President and CEO Mike Faas called the event “what most of us consider the most important day in Metropolitan Hospital’s history.”
Metro envisions the 170-acre site along Byron Center Avenue, just south of the new M-6 freeway, becoming a health care village featuring numerous complementary medical services surrounding the new eight-story, 200-bed hospital that’s scheduled to open in the summer of 2006.
Dubbed the Metro Health Village, the development has been in the planning stages for years.
Fitness and special medical centers, medical equipment businesses, a day care and other amenities are envisioned for the entire development, designed to provide greater access and convenience for patients and consumers and increased collaboration between care providers. Metro will also sell parcels along Gezon Parkway, bordering the northern edge of the site, for retail commercial development, including a hotel and restaurants.
“The Metro Health Village that will launch here today will be seen as one of the most significant health care developments in the region,” said Doyle Hayes, chairman of the Metro Health Board of Directors. “There’s nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come, and the Metro Health Village is one such idea and that time is at hand.”
Metro has yet to sign any partners for the health care village beyond medical office space planned for its own medical staff, although it has received a “lot of interest,” Faas said. With the groundbreaking out of the way, recruiting complementary health care service providers to become part of the village will begin taking on a higher priority, he said.
“We’re now going to kick off a lot of the village concepts,” Faas said.