Construction began this week on a $30-million medical center that is to be the new home of Largo's Diagnostic Clinic.
The clinic, a physician-owned practice that provides primary care, medical and surgical specialties, imaging, laboratory and therapy services, has been an anchor in the community for 39 years.
Its new center, at 1301 Second Ave. SW, is to be six stories with 155,000 square feet of space and additional parking added to an existing garage. Most of the center will be occupied by the clinic, but approximately a third is to be leased by Largo Medical Center and other health care related businesses.
The project is a partnership between the clinic and the medical center (which is across the street), a 456-bed acute care hospital adjacent to the clinic with specialty programs that include Tampa Bay Heart Institute, Florida Knee & Orthopedic Spine Care Center and a rehabilitation facility.
Why is the building needed?
"We're looking to upgrade to the latest technology in a number of different areas," said Dr. Charles Campbell, president and chief executive officer of Diagnostic Clinic. "This will allow us to continue and expand our commitment to our community.
"Basically, parts of the (old) building are not up to the standards we want for our patients. It was built in pieces. The original structure was started in 1969. A four-story tower was added in 1986."
How does the partnership work?
The hospital is leasing the property to the clinic, which will in turn lease space in the building to the hospital, said Richard Satcher, chief executive officer of the medical center and Sun Coast Hospital, a facility of the center. "We will be a tenant in the building," he said, "leasing space for a variety of needs that we currently don't have space for. It's a very common practice within our industry."
Will the clinic hire additional specialists for the new facility?
"We will have building space for expansion in almost every area," said Campbell. "It's hard to predict exactly what particular specialists we will need. We will have space to increase the doctors by 20 percent and add additional technology."
The clinic currently has more than 100 health care providers and a total staff of between 375 and 400.
Who is overseeing the project?
Greenfield Group, a Boca Raton-based medical real estate company specializing in development, leasing and property management, is coordinating the development.
Michael Hlatki, who heads the group's development division, is project manager. The contractor is Leighton McGinn of Palm Beach Gardens.
Construction is expected to be completed late next year.