St. Anthony Hospital is preparing to build a new emergency room and intensive care unit as part of a six-story, $53 million addition that is scheduled to begin construction next year.
Plans for the project are set to be reviewed Thursday by the Downtown Design Review Committee, and if approved, construction is set to start in March with completion by fall 2014.
Joe Hodges, regional president for SSM Healthcare, which owns St. Anthony, said the addition is the largest single expansion to date and will bring the campus investment since 2003 to $220 million.
“It will be a completely new face for St. Anthony,” Hodges said. “It’s really significant for us.”
The addition will allow the hospital to consolidate its two separate emergency units and expand bed counts, while freeing up existing space for other hospital operations. The addition includes subsurface parking and a rooftop helipad.
The design by Rees Associates, Hodges said, attempts to present a modern, cutting-edge image while still complementing the historic architecture of surrounding MidTown. Hodges said careful consideration was given to Kaiser’s American Bistro, home to the ice cream parlor since 1918.
The adjoining one-story office building, currently home to Upward Transitions, and a surface parking lot will be removed to make way for the building.
“I’m hoping this will result in more outdoor patio space for Kaiser’s,” Hodges said. “There will be more landscaping, more plaza, and a fountain.”
Hodges said the hospital will welcome Kaiser’s patrons to use St. Anthony’s parking spaces.
Additional parking also will be built on the block bordered by NW 9, NW 8, Dewey and Walker (with the exception of the Century Hotel, which stands in the middle of the block).
Hodges noted the hospital’s investment has exceeded the planned $200 million master plan first announced when, in conjunction with assistance from the city and county, St. Anthony executives agreed to stay open in what was then a mostly blighted MidTown neighborhood.
In the past few years, the area has rebounded with older buildings being converted into housing, restaurants, offices and shops.
Former flop houses are now upscale apartments, and the once darkened Plaza Court is now home to a branch of the YMCA, restaurants, a bakery, art gallery and optical shop.
“What a great success story for Oklahoma City, and think how quickly it has happened,” Hodges said.
“We’re very happy to be neighbors with all these great developers and business owners who have chosen to invest in MidTown.”