NEW PORT RICHEY — Top county planners unanimously approved site plans Thursday for Wesley Chapel's first hospital, which is expected to create at least 400 jobs and define the area as a hub of economic growth.
Construction is expected to begin after the Dec. 14 ground breaking on Wesley Chapel Medical Center, the 80-bed, three-story hospital that will cover 200,000 square feet off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard just north of the Shops at Wiregrass.
The first phase will include the hospital, which can be expanded to six stories. Phase 2 includes the construction of a 90,000-square-foot medical office building.
"It will be a full-service hospital," said John Negley, assistant to the president for Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, which is part of the Adventist Health System. The Orlando-based nonprofit recently merged with University Community Hospital, and the new group will own and run the Wesley Chapel hospital.
The hospital will include an emergency department, women's care, men's care, obstetric and pediatric services as well as general surgery. The building will have a heliport.
The adjacent medical office will include a 55,000-square-foot wellness center.
The hospital also will be located just north of the future Wesley Chapel branch of Pasco-Hernando Community College, which is set to open in 2013.
The general contractor for the project is Robins & Morton in Orlando.
The hospital is expected to open about 22 months after construction begins.