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HCMC plans $191 million expansion in downtown Minneapolis

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Hennepin County Medical Center says it will build a $191 million expansion of its campus in downtown Minneapolis to house clinic and specialty care operations. HCMC officials announced the plan in a news release Monday afternoon, saying the new facility will be an improvement for its patients.

“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.

The new 322,000 square-foot building (the orange block in the map above) will include primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgery facilities, and is expected to open in 2016. Other departments and functions in the hospital complex will be reconfigured, and the helipad that is currently on top of the parking ramp on 6th Street and Park Avenue will be moved to the roof of a building one block to the east.

The Hennepin County Board last week approved spending $10 million to buy property near the main campus directly across from the Emergency Department on 8th St., immediately south of the current HCMC campus.

The medical center already has a purchase agreement to buy the block, which is now split between four different owners, Finance and Commerce reports.

There are two commercial buildings, a small apartment building and two parking lots on the property right now. HCMC spokesman Tom Hayes said the commercial buildings will likely be demolished, but the apartment building might remain, according to Finance and Commerce.

HCMC says its current downtown facilities, which cover about five blocks bounded by Portland Avenue, South Sixth Street, 10th Avenue South and South Eighth Street, will be "maxed out" by 2017. Its governing board had considered several options for dealing with the upcoming space crunch before deciding on this expansion plan.

The expansion is also timed to make HCMC a more attractive health care provider for the growing number of residents and employees in downtown Minneapolis, according to the news release.

The total cost will be financed through the sale of bonds, which will need to be approved by the Hennepin County Board. Finance and Commerce said the board is expected to act on the bonds in the fall.

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