The Savannah hospital St. Joseph’s/Candler is buying six acres of county land in the Interstate Centre at the I-16 interchange on Highway 280 near the Bryan County Mega-Site.
The hospital plans to build a medical office building on the site that can be expanded to up to 40,000 square feet, according to hospital officials, and will ultimately mean an investment of some $40 million in North Bryan.
The amount the hospital is paying for the land has not been released because the sale hasn’t been finalized, and county commissioners will need to approve rezoning the land from industrial to commercial. But a portion of the building will be used by the Development Authority of Bryan County for offices and meeting space, according to a press release embargoed for release until today.
In the release, DABC Chairman Jon Seagraves said the decision by the hospital to open up shop at the Interstate Centre will be a boon to the area.
“In addition to making healthcare more accessible for the people working and living in and around Interstate Centre, St. Joseph’s/Candler’s new facility will make the area more attractive to prospects interested in potentially opening a new facility,” Seagraves said. “Having office and meeting space in the new facility for our staff will also make meeting with these prospects a more streamlined and efficient process. This facility will be a great asset both for the the community and the DABC, and we are excited to begin our new partnership with St. Joseph’s/ Candler.”
The first phase of the project could be finished by early 2024, and according to the press release “will involve the development of an initial 2-story, 20,000 square foot building with a built out first floor that will house services designed to establish local access to a variety of primary healthcare services that will help minimize travel and subsequent time away from family, work, or community activities.”
The hospital’s release continued: “Phase 1 may include the establishment of services for primary care, urgent care, occupational medicine, and certain in-demand specialties. Additional clinical services may include basic diagnostic services (including lab access), disease management and wellness programs, pre-surgical testing services, and clinical navigation services to expedite patients’ access to any level of care needed.” The facility will help “meet the primary healthcare needs of a growing population of employers, employees, employee families, and the broader community in Northern Bryan County, Western Effingham County, and Southern Bulloch County,” according to St. Joseph’s Candler.
The hospital’s president and CEO, Paul P. Hinchey, said the Savannah-based hospital, which has facilities in both Richmond Hill and Pembroke, has been looking for ways to bring healthcare to rural areas such as North Bryan.
“St. Joseph’s/Candler has worked very hard in recent years to identify areas of our community who need more access to healthcare services,”
Hinchey said, in the hospital’s release. “This particular portion of Bryan County has been part of our growth and access strategy for some time.
When we approached the DABC about our vision for the area, it became clear that they shared the same vision and enthusiasm as us for the project.
We are very excited to partner with them to meet the health care needs of employers and residents of that area and the added benefit of having the DABC in our building is a win/win for all. It will create the opportunity for even greater synergy and partnership in the future.”
Hospital spokesman Scott Larson said St. Joseph’s/Candler is one of the first companies to announce it is locating near the Mega-Site since the state acquired the 2,240 acre property not far from the I-16 and Highway 280 interchange. The Mega-Site purchase is said to be the largest in the state’s history.
The state, along with Bryan and Chatham Counties, spent $61 million for the land, with Bryan’s share coming in at $9 million. State, regional and local officials say the Mega-Site, which is being governed and marketed by the Savannah Harbor I-16 Joint Development Authority, is seeking to attract a single “original equipment manufacturer,” to the site rather than parcel it off.