The ambitious plans of Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) to build a new hospital and a ‘Health and Wellness Village’ on land just north of Fort Tuthill County Park is a bold vision that goes well beyond the traditional healthcare model.
For those not familiar with the expansion proposal, which was the subject of two virtual public neighborhood meetings last month, it would begin with the construction of a new hospital to replace the current Flagstaff Medical Center. Subsequent phases on the 180-acre parcel would include almost 200 units of housing, mixed used retail (with an emphasis on health-focused retailers and restaurants), and ultimately a medical research and development zone.
NAH is currently working with the City of Flagstaff to refine the plan in advance of NAH applying for a rezoning of the property.
According to Steve Eiss, Vice President of Construction and Real Estate Development at NAH, the new development, which would take several years to complete, would:
Enable NAH to adopt future healthcare best practices and technologies in a space designed to accommodate the next generation of healthcare innovations.
Enrich Flagstaff’s community and reputation of providing northern Arizona residents and visitors with access to healthy lifestyle options such as outdoor activities, healthy foods, and more.
Contribute to northern Arizona’s economic vitality and growth, especially as access to high-quality healthcare services is a top consideration for current and future residents and area employers.
“Our proposed Health and Wellness Village, anchored by a new hospital, will provide Flagstaff and northern Arizona residents with exceptional healthcare services in an environment conducive to improved wellbeing,” Eiss said. “This effort is a vital extension of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s commitment to continuous improvement in all we do to serve our patients and community.”
The heart of the development would be a new $750 million hospital and ambulatory care center that would increase access to various treatment options – including ones that currently require patients in our region to travel to Phoenix.
It would also improve functionality for the hospital, by congregating diagnostic and treatment areas in one section of the hospital, with inpatient rooms in several floors directly above. That compares to the current FMC campus that sprawls over 900 feet, making patient transport challenging.
In addition to the two community-wide public hearings, which were mandatory under City regulations, NAH has presented the plan at dozens of neighborhood meetings as well as to the leadership of organizations like ECoNA, the Downtown Business Alliance, the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, the Assistance League and Northern Arizona University.
The proposed timeline for the development calls for the hospital to be completed by 2027, with the subsequent phases being developed and completed by 2040. Upon completion of the entire health and wellness village, the estimated economic impact would be $389 million annually.
There are still many questions surrounding this proposal – including what will happen to the current FMC facility. More information will be coming as the project develops and pending the City Council’s decision regarding NAH’s requested zoning amendments.
We look forward to seeing this plan evolve and are grateful to NAH for making the commitment to provide modernized, quality healthcare for all who live and visit northern Arizona.
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