Mercy medical building recommended

Site plan for a four-story medical office building proposed by Mercy Hospital across Coon Rapids Boulevard from the hospital was recommended for approval by the Coon Rapids Planning Commission July 19.

Site plan for the 120,000 square-foot, four-story medical building proposed by Mercy Hospital on Coon Rapids Boulevard. Source: city of Coon Rapids
Site plan for the 120,000 square-foot, four-story medical building proposed by Mercy Hospital on Coon Rapids Boulevard. Source: city of Coon Rapids

The recommendation on the planned 120,000 square-foot building will be considered by the Coon Rapids City Council Aug. 8.

“The plan is to break ground in October and open the doors to patients in November 2013,” said Jeff Peterson, interim president, Mercy Hospital, in an earlier press release.

There was discussion on the site plan by Planning Commission members, but no major issues surfaced, according to Marc Nevinski, city community development director.

Mercy has been talking with the city about a medical building project for some two years, Nevinski said.

At one time, discussions focused on the hospital purchasing a portion of the city’s Mercy Park, which lies south of the hospital campus, to construct an addition to its existing facility with park land provided to the north where the current project is proposed, he said.

“We were pleasantly surprised when Mercy came to us with a plan for this site,” Nevinski said.

Under the site plan, Mercy is proposing to construct the building on three lots with a combined area of 11.17 acres, two of which are vacant and one contains a single-family house.

For some years the house has been home to Mercy’s adult mental health outpatient program and it will be removed as part of the project.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, the existing stand of oak trees at the corner of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Blackfoot Street will be preserved.

There will be no access on to Coon Rapids Boulevard, but there will be two access points on to Blackfoot Street, which has a signalized intersection with Coon Rapids Boulevard, Harlicker wrote in his report to the commission.

The building is being placed to accommodate a possible pedestrian skyway across Coon Rapids Boulevard to the hospital in the future, according to Harlicker.

The site plan recommended by the commission does not include a skyway, Harlicker said.

The main entrance to the building will be set off by a canopy, while the exterior of the building has a variety of materials, including three colors of brick and a fabricated pre-cast limestone base and bands, and the primary street level facing both Coon Rapids Boulevard and Blackfoot are 60 percent glass.

Parking, for which 552 spaces, is oriented to Blackfoot Street, where the access points are located, and to the rear of the property, where the storm retention pond will be constructed.

According to Harlicker, proposed landscaping complies or exceeds the landscaping requirements and there will be 228,614 square feet of open space (5.25 acres) compared with the code requirement of 97,000 square feet.

The developer of the project for Mercy is Frauenshuh HealthCare Real Estate Solutions, the designer is Pope Architects and the builder will be Kraus Anderson.

According to information provided by David Moga, project manager, Pope Architects, the tenant mix, while not yet finalized, is expected to include cancer treatment clinics, OB clinic and a variety of other specialty clinics.

One major tenant anticipated is an ambulatory surgery center, which will provide same day surgeries and other minor invasive procedures, Moga wrote.

The clinic will have normal operating hours and will not be a 24-hour facility, he wrote.

Allina Health, of which Mercy Hospital is a part, is investing $22 million in the project, according to the earlier press release.

The acoustically sensitive design will maximize patient privacy, Peterson states in the press release.

Plans for the construction support the latest medical technology and incorporate environmentally friendly materials and systems, he said.

“This project will enable the hospital to enhance patient care and expand the services offered in our community,” Peterson said.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]