Wednesday, January 06 2010
After years of discussion, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has decided on a location on Evansville’s far East Side for a new VA Outpatient Clinic.
An 11.1-acre site in the Waterford Park commercial subdivision is the proposed building site.
The land at 6226 Waterford Blvd. is just west of North Burkhardt Road and is behind Integra Bank and Kruckemeyer & Cohn Jewelery. The main entrance to the three-story clinic will be off Waterford Boulevard, which is off Burkhardt north of East Lloyd Expressway.
The facility is the second new government building announced within a week. On Dec. 30, plans for a new Social Security Administration building at 2300 N. Green River Road, south of Menards, were revealed.
The site was chosen for its easy access to I-164 and other major thoroughfares and surrounding businesses and services.
“Everything, including amenities such as shopping malls, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants and offices, are all located within two miles of the location,” said Mike Richardson, a broker/developer with Remax Commercial Services who led the site search the past 21/2 years.
“This is where the growth is taking place and that is why the site was selected.”
City bus service includes routes in the area, according to the METS office.
Greg Wathen, president of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, said the new clinic will be a regional draw that will enhance the Tri-State health care sector.
“It will bring people into the marketplace to purchase products and services. It’s a positive thing.”
No figures on the number of jobs the new clinic will create or the cost of the project were immediately available.
VA officials closed on the land deal Nov. 30, but didn’t release the news until Wednesday.
Summit Smith Healthcare Facilities in Milwaukee, Wis. — the lead developer assigned to the project — bought the land from Evansville-headquartered Decem Investments, Inc., a group which includes Dr. Sanford E. Schen, president, and developer Joseph A. Ream and other investors.
Ream said Summit Smith plans to lease the proposed building and land to the VA for 20 years.
No land sales figures were disclosed.
The start of construction on the all-green, high-tech facility is planned for this summer, if not earlier, weather permitting.
A fall 2011 opening is anticipated, Laurie Tranter, spokeswoman for the VA in Washington, D.C., said by phone.
Veterans from all parts of the nation, not just the region, will be served at the facility, she said.
The red brick clinic with white trim and 436 parking spaces is expected to replace the VA Outpatient Clinic at Walnut and Garvin streets near Downtown.
The new facility will include 95,908 net usable square feet of space, said Tranter.
Discussions about bringing a larger VA outpatient clinic to Evansville began more than five years ago.
The main building of the former Welborn Baptist Hospital was once seriously considered as a potential site.
In all, Richardson said, the Waterford Park site was one of more than 20 sites studied. “Basically, the sites were between locations Downtown and on the East Side.”
Richardson was aided by 15 current and retired VA leaders from Washington, D.C., and other areas of the country who surveyed each potential site carefully.
“All agreed unanimously on Waterford Park,” Richardson said. “No stone was left unturned.”