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Published: Friday, 5/23/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

ProMedica has plans for Starlite Plaza site

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
An artist’s rendering shows the ProMedica facility planned for the Starlite Plaza on Monroe Street. An artist’s rendering shows the ProMedica facility planned for the Starlite Plaza on Monroe Street.
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Nearly a year after purchasing the Starlite Plaza shopping center in Sylvania, Toledo’s health-care network ProMedica has submitted plans to build a three-story Health and Wellness Center on the 11-acre site at 5700 Monroe St.

The $45 million medical center, which is expected to be ready by late 2015, will be an “innovative concept” not currently available in Toledo that will treat a patients’ illnesses, but also offer preventive medical services to keep them well so that they avoid future doctor visits or hospital stays.

“We see this as an innovative model for health-care delivery, not only for patients but for physicians,” said Dr. Lee Hammerling, ProMedica’s chief physician executive and chief medical officer. “This is not just another medical office building. This is a way for patients to get coordinated medical care under one roof.

“We really believe that’s the focus and thrust of health care in the future — to keep people healthy, to keep people out of the hospital,” Dr. Hammerling said.

RELATED: Drawings offer a glimpse of ProMedica office plans

To accomplish that mission, ProMedica studied other cutting-edge medical facilities and toyed with the health and wellness concept for years before coming up with its plans, which were filed Tuesday with the Sylvania Plan Commission.

Starlite Plaza, once home to Churchill’s supermarket and later a Farmer Jack and Bassett’s Market, is now mostly vacant. Starlite Plaza, once home to Churchill’s supermarket and later a Farmer Jack and Bassett’s Market, is now mostly vacant.
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“We tried to really capture health care through the eyes of the patient, to make it very health-care friendly,” Dr. Hammerling said. The health-care network also got “an awful lot of physician input.”

The result is a 230,000-square-foot facility that combines a variety of medical services, including family practice physicians, specialty medical practices, outpatient medical services, diagnostic services, and wellness education.

Because they will be in one building, those medical practices and services will be able to interact to serve patients in ways that previously weren’t possible.

“That’s our intent — to bring coordinated care under one roof and create synergies in physician’s disciplines and specialties that are related. So you’ll have cardiology and surgery in the same building, obstetrics and pediatrics together,” Dr. Hammerling said.

The building also will have other services, including a walk-in clinic, a pharmacy, a vision center, and a cafe. An official name for the building has not been chosen yet, said ProMedica spokesman Tedra White.

The project is expected to commence in June if ProMedica can get necessary city approvals. Construction will take about 17 months after groundbreaking.

The plan commission will consider the project at its June 11 meeting.

“We haven’t had a chance to review the plans just yet, but [the project] fits with the current zoning, so no zoning changes are needed,” said Kevin Aller, Sylvania’s public service director.

“It will go through an architectural board review … and if there are not issues, it could be approved at the meeting and they could be ready to proceed,” he said.

Plans filed with the city call for a three-story building with an inner atrium and an exterior made of steel, glass, and terra-cotta brick. The building, designed by the architectural firm of HKS Inc. of Dallas, will have 767 parking spaces.

Designs indicate building sections that will house an imaging wing, a digestive disease institute, an endoscopy suite, a bariatric clinic, and a community education center. Details on the designs also show suites that, tentatively, will be occupied by five physician groups — Alexis Medical Center, Woodley Park Internal Medicine, Family Practice of Toledo, Port Sylvania Family Physicians, and Westgate Medical Group.

It also shows locations for a lifestyle coaching clinic, a cardiology practice, a pediatric clinic, a women’s center, and an ENT practice.

ProMedica plans to build the health and wellness center on the site of the former Churchill’s supermarket, which is to be demolished. The 90,000-square-foot grocery store, which was built in 1971, later became a Farmer Jack, and then a Bassett’s Market but closed in 2007 and has been vacant since.

Also to be torn down is a 60,000-square-foot strip center on the west side of Starlite Plaza, and a 37,000-square-foot strip center behind the grocery store. The smaller strip center is vacant. The only remaining tenant of the larger strip center, Sewing and Vacuum Express, has a two-year lease and has no plans to leave.

Two buildings on the east side of Starlite, a restaurant occupied by Ralphie’s Sports and Drink Eatery, and a retail building occupied by Dave’s Performance Footgear and the Buckeye Store and More, will remain. An older retail building that abuts Dave’s, and which last was occupied in December by a temporary Libbey Glass Outlet store, will be demolished.

ProMedica bought the 44-year-old Starlite Plaza last June for $7 million from Brixmor Property Group of New York, a company owned by Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI LP of New York.

“The planning for this started years and years ago as physicians grew from typical primary care and specialties and health care continued to change and evolve around us,” Dr. Hammerling said.

ProMedica operates 11 hospitals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. It has about 14,000 employees.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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