Washtenaw on the rise: County experiences development boom

Posted on June 16, 2014

Along with the redevelopment of Washtenaw County’s college campuses, retail establishments, residential neighborhoods and downtown areas, there has also been a rise in construction among health care providers across the county.

St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems is in the middle of three large redevelopment projects, with two of them carrying a price tag of $26 million and the price of the third project yet to be determined.

St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea – formerly called Chelsea Community Hospital – is undergoing a $10 million expansion project at its cancer center. The 12-month project began in January 2014 and is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.

The new center will add 15,000 square feet of space and include a linear accelerator and CT simulator for radiation treatment, and almost double the capacity for infusion and chemotherapy.

The same hospital is in the middle of a $16 million renovation to its surgery centers that will be complete by January 2015. The operating rooms will be upgraded to improve technology, heating and cooling.

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor will begin construction on a new anatomical laboratory in August 2014 that will take about five or six months to wrap up. The hospital is collaborating with Eastern Michigan University for the project, which will be used to support the new physician assistant program at the university. The cost of the project has yet to be determined.

The University of Michigan Health Systems has nearly $49 million in hospital-related construction projects underway.

Northville Health Center – the 100,000-square-foot, $39 million facility that’s expected to open this summer – is a first-of-its-kind the health system, and will supplement two Livonia clinics that UMHS operates. It’s part of an effort by the health system to provide both specialty and primary care services closer to patients’ homes.

The Department of Emergency Medicine at the Taubman Health Care Center is getting a revamped conference room, training room, medical resident workroom and locker room. The $2.7 million project will renovate 6,700 square feet of space at with the aim to “improve the work setting for the emergency department team.”

Meanwhile, U-M is also moving its electroencephalography and electromyography services from University Hospital to the former C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital building.

A renovation of approximately 6,700 square feet of space at the old Mott building will create clinical diagnostic laboratories and offices. The project will cost $2.6 million and is will be completed in the fall, while an additional $4.5 million is going into upgrades and renovations in the Mott Children’s Hospital operating room.

The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System is in the process of several projects totaling about $20 million in construction at its facility.

Projects include the addition of a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement lab to provide minimally invasive heart valve replacements, a new Veterans Welcome Center near the main entrance of the hospital, and a new Patient Education Resource Center which will centralize meeting spaces and create a new multipurpose computer room and teaching lab.

Several other internal projects have been proposed and approved, and are expected to wrap up as late as summer 2016.