By Ray Spiteri, Niagara Falls Review
Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:01:06 EST PM
A 52,000-square-foot building that will house a variety of medical professionals is being built next to the skate park on Montrose Rd. in Niagara Falls.
A private, commercial real-estate development firm purchased four acres of land from the city last year for $700,000 and is planning to break ground this June, with construction completion expected 12 months from then.
The plan is for general practitioners, pharmacists, cardiologists and dentists to be among the tenant mix.
DCL Healthcare Properties Inc., which develops, builds and manages health-care facilities, also proposes more than 20,000-square-feet of hospitality, food and retail space on property near the MacBain Community Centre.
Frank Deluca, chief executive officer of DCL, described the medical centre as a “community health-care hub.”
He said the city is growing in the south end, which makes it ripe for such a venture.
The Niagara Falls initiative will be used as a pilot, as the company plans to build more facilities across Ontario.
“This is the start of something where we will take the design and engineering and replicate it in key areas in the province. The idea is you park your vehicle, come in and get all your basic needs addressed,” he said, adding walkways and pathways will be incorporated in the project.
There will be 278 free parking spots on site for patients, visitors and tenants.
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati described the development as a centre of excellence, one that meets the current medical landscape.
He said the days of spreading out specialists in “below-average” and aging facilities are over. Practitioners now want to practise together in “state-of-the-art” modern buildings whenever possible.
“It’s almost like a health-care mall, a health-care plaza — one-stop shopping for your health,” said Diodati.
“There will be a real holistic approach to health care and healing. It’s not just about taking a pill or having a procedure. There will also be proactive, health-related education and services.”
Diodati said he’s impressed by the design of the building, as well as the developer’s plan to maintain adequate green space linking the centre to the skate park and surrounding amenities.
Proponents of the project said it will be one of the most high-performance and environmentally friendly operations in Ontario.
Through Enbridge’s Savings By Design program, the building has gone through extensive engineering and planning.
According to DCL, the centre will “address years of practitioner frustrations” with traditional medical buildings, from attention to interior esthetics and patient comfort to energy costs and air quality.
The building will use geothermal heating and cooling systems. It will include 100% LED lighting, resulting in 70% energy savings, said Deluca. It will also harvest rainwater, reducing 40% of its usage from the municipal system.
(This story is brought to you courtesy of Niagara Falls Review)