Monday, Nov 12, 2018
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Toledo Hospital to add $350M patient tower

ProMedica buys 77 homes to shift road

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    An artist’s rendering shows the back of the planned patient tower at ProMedica Toledo Hospital as seen from North Cove Boulevard. The tower is expected to open in 2019.


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An artist’s rendering shows the back of the planned patient tower at ProMedica Toledo Hospital as seen from North Cove Boulevard. The tower is expected to open in 2019.


ProMedica Toledo Hospital is about to undergo a $350 million, three-year renovation that includes the construction of a new tower for patient rooms and converting the oldest building, which opened in 1930 on North Cove Boulevard, into office space.

Construction on the new 615,000-square-foot addition, which will create a new grand entrance for the hospital on ProMedica Parkway, is expected to begin next spring.

“It’s primarily driven by the need for updated facilities. What we have just doesn’t cut it anymore. We suffer with buildings and plumbing and HVAC that just have exceeded their useful lives,” said Arturo Polizzi, president of Toledo and Toledo Children’s Hospital.

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The expansion project also includes shifting ProMedica Parkway to the east to make room for the new front entrance and several rows of surface parking in front of it. 

The health company has purchased 77 homes mostly on Rathbun Drive between North Cove and Monroe Street to make way for the new thoroughfare, said Robin Whitney, vice president of property acquisition and development.

“There are some [homes] that were acquired from Monroe up to Central because the road has to start curving over to the east right after the Central intersection,” Ms. Whitney said.

The recently completed I-475 ProMedica Parkway exit will not be affected by the project, she said.

ProMedica officials revealed details about the project to The Blade’s editorial board. The renovation is being financed with private dollars and will involve no government subsidies or tax credits. The construction of the new facility will create about 1,100 construction jobs, Ms. Whitney said.



Mr. Polizzi said the population in the Toledo area is aging and that ProMedica has recognized there will be a greater need for more intensive-care beds. When the renovation is complete, Toledo Hospital will have about the same number of beds available for patients, about 600, but the number of acute or intensive care beds will increase from 78 to 108.

By comparison, Mercy health system’s largest hospital, St. Vincent Medical Center, has 543 beds, including 125 intensive care beds.

The Toledo Hospital renovation project also includes creating a new intensive care unit in the children’s hospital, Mr. Polizzi said.

ProMedica is in the midst of making Toledo Hospital the designated center for the sickest of the sick and pushing other patients to the smaller sister hospitals in the health system.

“For example, we’ve consolidated all of psych now at Flower Hospital. Psych will not be in the new bed tower,” he said.

ProMedica understands Toledo Hospital is big and involves a lot of walking for people so that is one reason the company is considering the things that can be better served at the community hospitals, said Alison Smith Avendt, Toledo Hospital’s vice president of operations.

Ms. Avendt, who has overseen the layout and design of the new facility, said the new patient rooms will all be private, with more room for families who choose to spend the night with patients.

“I would say we are going for an improved experience,” she said. The rooms will have a great deal of natural light and state-of-the-art technology, she added.

The North Cove entrance, opposite Ottawa Park, will close to the public once the new tower and entrance are complete, Mr. Polizzi said.

“One of our goals was to have one entrance because that’s really hard for people to know which entrance to come in and if you come in the wrong one you have to walk to the other side,” Ms. Avendt said.

The North Cove structure that ProMedica officials now call the legacy building opened Jan. 2, 1930. The $2 million structure was an upgrade from the old building that had been located at 1711 Cherry St., which had been in service for 35 years. Some 35 patients were moved from the Cherry Street location into Toledo Hospital on North Cove when it opened.

The hospital has undergone several renovations over the years, with additions to the original structure in the 1950s and ’70s, Mr. Polizzi said. The Harris McIntosh and Jobst Towers were built in the 1980s. The most recently constructed section, known as the Renaissance Tower, opened in 2008, he said.

The Renaissance Tower was considered phase one of the current project. It faces ProMedica Parkway and the new addition, or phase two, will be built adjacent to it, with connectors between the two modern buildings. ProMedica had originally planned to start the second phase in 2008, but the recession that crippled the nation’s economy forced the company to shelve the project for several years, Mr. Polizzi said.

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at or 419-724-6091.

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