ST. PETERSBURG — The biggest medical center to go up on the west side of town in years is in the works at Ninth Avenue N and 66th Street.
Tennessee-based Iasis Healthcare, owner of Palms of Pasadena Hospital, plans to break ground early next year on a 50,000-square-foot medical center that will include an urgent-care center, an imaging facility and doctors' offices.
Also, a yet-to-be-named developer is buying a neighboring parcel, potentially for a nursing home.
"Their discussions have been about a nursing home or some sort of thing for the elderly. People will be pleased about it," said Frank Murphy, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, which sold one parcel to Iasis for $4.2 million. A deal on a second parcel is in the works, Murphy confirmed.
"We are hoping to break ground in March or April and complete the building in first quarter in 2014," said Jay Miller, vice president of Equity Inc., the developer of the Iasis medical center. He estimated that the investment in the project will be $9 million.
The medical center will occupy about a third of the 50,000 square feet, and the balance will be leased to other physicians and medical professionals. Miller expects lease rates to be around $19 to $21 per square foot.
"A lot of medical office space in the area is in smaller offices," he said. "This will provide opportunity for physicians who want to be in a more dedicated office building that has some of the same services of hospitals."
A spokeswoman for Iasis, which also owns Town & Country Hospital in Tampa, could not be reached for comment. Three years ago, the for-profit hospital company trimmed about 25 jobs at Palms of Pasadena.
Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8785.