Anoka seals the deal with HealthPartners

Anoka has given all the approvals HealthPartners needs to go ahead with the construction of a new medical clinic off Highway 10.

The new RiverWay Clinic will be a welcome addition at 601 Jacob Lane, just off Highway 10 near Green Haven Golf Club. Graphic courtesy of HealthPartners
The new RiverWay Clinic will be a welcome addition at 601 Jacob Lane, just off Highway 10 near Green Haven Golf Club. Graphic courtesy of HealthPartners

The company plans to relocate the current RiverWay Clinic, located on Monroe Street in downtown Anoka, to the site that is currently home to Castle Field.

The Anoka City Council Monday approved the site plan and final plat for the 60,000 square-foot clinic. Councilmembers also approved a development agreement with HealthPartners.

Mayor Phil Rice recognized HealthPartners’ willingness to keep the clinic in Anoka and invest heavily in the city while providing a much needed service.

“We’re excited to see what’s going to happen and we’re thrilled to see this building,” said Rice. “We really look forward to the changes there.

HealthPartners hopes to open the clinic in June 2013. Construction is anticipated to get underway in August, once the city has cleared the ball park infrastructure.

Construction is already underway on the new Castle Field, located near the Anoka High School on Seventh Avenue.

As part of the deal, the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority also agreed to purchase the current RiverWay Clinic on Monroe Street, which has been earmarked for redevelopment.

The HRA will take ownership of that building this summer, and HealthPartners will lease it back until they are ready to move into the new RiverWay Clinic at 601 Jacob Lane.

According to a report by Community Development Director Bob Kirchner, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the site plan following a June 5 public hearing.

During that time, there was much discussion about the building’s elevations and landscaping.

The exterior of the building is predominantly brick and stone and the property will have a variety of trees, including evergreens at the request of the Planning Commission, to provide some winter cover.

“It’s very impressive with a lot of stone and glass,” said Thorvig.

Building will be located on the southeast corner of the property. The two-story construction will have 30,000 square feet on each floor and the clinic will have 308 parking stalls, as required by code, said Thorvig, on the north

“The architects and the designers really wanted to take advantage of those Highway 10 views and put the building right on the corner of the site,” said Thorvig.

He said the most visible side of the building has an impressive look, with a lot of stone and glass.

During past reviews on the project, the city council agreed to a storm water treatment plan that required a creative solution.

“Something unique was done regarding the storm water treatment on this property,” said Thorvig. “The developer had to do storm water treatment underground because of the introduction of impervious surface or find an option off site.”

The city and HealthPartners agreed upon a storm water treatment pond on the 18th hold of Green Haven Golf Course, to be constructed by HealthPartners.

Thorvig added the pond will be constructed large enough to handle runoff from future development that could happen in the area.

The long list of approvals Monday was followed by the development agreement, putting the last piece in the puzzle that will result in dramatic change at the old Castle Field site.

As part of the development agreement, HealthPartners will make improvements to the site valued at $653,000. The company will also construct public improvements with a city reimbursement valued at $71,000.

But the item of immediate concern Monday was the city’s promise to rebuild Greenhaven Road, which runs along the east side of the new clinic leading into Green Haven Golf Course.

There are plans to reconstruct the road next year.

According to the agreement the city must make its best effort to have the road substantially complete when the clinic opens, which is anticipated to happen in June.

This is as long as the city can have bids and award a construction contract by Feb. 28, 2013.

HealthPartners Facilities Manager Todd Young said having this road mostly finished once the new RiverWay Clinic is open is very important in making a first impression with its patients.

“Our fear is that we still have a dirt road there, or that we still don’t have curb and gutter,” said Young.

But several member of the council said they would be pushing to get the road done on time, and the city has a history of working on very specific construction schedules.

“I want it done and over with and looking good – not dragging out for two years,” said Councilmember Mark Freeburg. “We’ll just make it happen.”

Kirchner said the tight time line on the road project could result in higher bids. But the city is not obligated to award a contract if it doesn’t fit into the budget for 2013.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]