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HCMC gets final OK for $224M expansion; breaks ground next week

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Hennepin County Medical Center will break ground next week on a $224 million expansion of its campus in downtown Minneapolis, now that the County Board has given final approval to the financing for the project.

The new six-story Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Center, which will be located between 8th and 9th streets and Chicago and Park avenues, will house all of HCMC's downtown clinics as well as its Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Right now our primary care and specialty care clinics downtown are spread across nine buildings that we own or lease. Bringing them together into one building will make it more convenient for our patients and more efficient for our staff,” said HCMC CEO Jon Pryor when the plan was announced last year.

Pryor noted that HCMC's current downtown facilities will be “maxed out” by 2017.

The new 377,000-square foot structure will also have underground parking with 220 stalls for patients, the Star Tribune reports.

The Hennepin County Board unanimously approved the sale of $192 million in bonds Tuesday to finance the construction project, according to KSTP. The hospital will repay the bonds over the next 25 years.

The expansion is also timed to make HCMC a more attractive health care provider for the growing number of residents and employees in the eastern part of downtown, where the new Vikings stadium is spurring more housing and business development.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for Nov. 12, and the first phase of the project will be to demolish the buildings on the site.

According to the Star Tribune, construction is expected to take about two years, and the facility should be ready to open in January 2018.

HCMC includes a 455-bed hospital as well as its system of clinics downtown.

It also operates several neighborhood clinics throughout the metro area. Last year, HCMC saw about 559,000 patients at its clinics and another 110,000 through emergency visits.

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