Senior Housing: Construction of Southlake’s Tower Plaza hospital and office project may start in summer

By Nicholas Sakelaris for Southlake Journal

SOUTHLAKE — The Tower Plaza hospital and office project is expected to get under way in the summer after months of criticism and rejections from city boards.

The complex includes a three-story, 64,000-square-foot hospital and a two-story, 40,000-square-foot office building for multiple tenants. The center is expected to open in 2012.

The hospital, to be called The Medical Center at Tower Plaza, will have 24 patient rooms, an emergency room and surgery suites on the 5.8-acre site on Southlake Boulevard just west of Carroll Avenue. The project is valued near $50 million, the developers have said.The City Council approved the project unanimously Dec. 7.

Council members Carolyn Morris and Pamela Muller voted against the project on first reading Nov. 2 but switched their votes on the final reading.

“It’s good to see that they were unanimously for it in the end,” said Curtis Young, owner of the Sage Group, the zoning and design consultant for the project.

It will be developed by Visions Southwest, which also owns the land. Physicians Synergy Group, a physician-owned company, will operate and help develop the for-profit hospital. Physicians Synergy can buy the hospital after three years.

In addition to landscaping, a clock tower will be a prominent feature near the main entrance.

Tower Plaza is less than a mile from Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake.

At the Dec. 7 meeting, several area physicians favored the project, which has faced a tough road toward approval.

A year ago, another developer called for the site to have a nursing home with up to 90 assisted-living units and a nursing college funded by tax-exempt municipal bonds.

That Invitation Park concept was criticized because of the density, the lack of a signed agreement from a university and the funding methods. The project was withdrawn in March. In August came a plan for a hospital and two office buildings. The council rejected that idea 5-2, with only Mayor John Terrell and Councilman Brandon Bledsoe in support.

In October, Young presented a new plan: one office building fronting Southlake Boulevard, parking and entrance in the rear and a new street, Plaza Boulevard, on the east side, in addition to an extension of Zena Rucker Road.

Young said all the money is from private sources. Still, the council included language that if public financing is used, it must be clear that Southlake isn’t associated with the project. Also, memory-care and senior-housing centers are banned at the site.

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