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Bayfront expansion moving ahead under new owners

Orlando Health is planning two new health pavilions on the St. Petersburg hospital campus.
An architect's rendering of the Bayfront Health Medical Pavilion – Institute Square, part of Orlando Health's expansion of the Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital.
An architect's rendering of the Bayfront Health Medical Pavilion – Institute Square, part of Orlando Health's expansion of the Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital. [ Orlando Health ]
Published Nov. 17|Updated Nov. 18

ST. PETERSBURG — When it purchased Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in 2020, Orlando Health pledged that it would revive St. Petersburg’s marquee hospital.

The health giant provided evidence of that this week with the unveiling of plans for a new four-story medical pavilion on the hospital campus. It’s the second addition planned. The company in September announced plans for a three-story women’s health pavilion.

The Bayfront Health Medical Pavilion Institute Square will house specialists in oncology, orthopedics and women’s care through new partnerships with Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, All Florida Orthopaedic Associates and Women’s Care. That will include treatment for colorectal, thoracic, lung, head and neck, breast and skin cancer treatments.

“(This) ushers in a new era for our hospital and demonstrates our commitment in providing expanded access to high quality health care for our community,” said John Moore, the hospital president and senior vice president of Orlando Health West Region.

The 132,000-square-foot building is planned for a block north of Sixth Avenue South, just west of the James Heart Center. It will include an outpatient imaging center and diagnostic laboratory services and is scheduled to open in late spring 2025.

The hospital declined to say how much the building will cost.

Related: Orlando Health completes purchase of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

Orlando Health’s purchase of the St. Petersburg hospital marked its entry into the Tampa Bay health care market. The deal had to be approved by St. Petersburg City Council members since the hospital is on publicly owned land.

Prior to the takeover, local members of the National Nurses United union reported understaffing and equipment shortages that reportedly had led to high infection rates, unnecessary deaths, bed sores and other problems.

Since then, the not-for-profit health care giant, which boasts more than $8 billion in assets, has embarked on several major projects including a free-standing emergency room just south of Tyrone Square mall, and has plans for new hospitals near Wiregrass Mall in Pasco County and in Lakeland, both under the Orlando Health banner.

Related: Orlando Health announces plans for new hospital in Pasco

The original Bayfront hospital, which was built in the 1980s, is also being upgraded. Orlando Health has added new medical equipment, hired new employees and increased pay for some staffers.

“We are currently doing renovations throughout the facility, converting to all private rooms and renovating multiple different areas of the facility,” Moore said.

St. Petersburg Council member Gina Driscoll said Orlando Health’s investment in the hospital and the region has raised the bar for health care.

“Orlando Health has proven itself an extraordinary partner for our city,” she said.

Rendering of the Bayfront Health Women’s Pavilion planned for the east side of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg campus.
Rendering of the Bayfront Health Women’s Pavilion planned for the east side of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg campus. [ Orlando Health ]
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The three-story pavilion dedicated to women’s health and wellness will be in conjunction with Women’s Care.

The 60,000-square-foot outpatient facility will be built at 700 Sixth St. S. It will include imaging and diagnostic screening equipment and be home to multi-specialty practices including urogynecology.

It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2024.

“It will provide a one-stop location for women to obtain a variety of services,” Moore said.

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