Healthcare: Tarpon gets medical complex site plan

By MARK SCHANTZ for The Suncoast News

TARPON SPRINGS – The long-awaited site plan for the second phase of the Meres Crossing shopping plaza has been submitted to the city for review.

Plans call for a 60,000-square-foot, four-story medical office building to be constructed between the Sweetbay Supermarket in the plaza and Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, to the south.

Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital Foundation and developers entered into an agreement in 2008 that resulted in construction of the Sweetbay store and other retail shops in Meres Crossing, at Pinellas Avenue and Meres Boulevard.

The remainder of the project, being completed in phases, has been designed to include medical offices, apartments and senior-living facilities.

Site work on the medical component will begin this summer. Construction will start with a north-south boulevard connecting Helen Ellis Memorial with Meres Crossing. A traffic roundabout and access to Pinellas Avenue will also be part of this portion of the construction project.

Hospital officials say they are looking forward to having the medical office space to attract more physicians and patients needing specialty care. The opening of the medical complex is slated to coincide with the hospital’s effort to obtain state certification for a heart surgery unit.

As part of the approval for the proposed medical office complex, the developer has to complete construction of the Meres Boulevard extension, which will link Pinellas Avenue and U.S. 19. According to the city’s agreement with the developer, the last segment of the Meres Boulevard extension, between Safford and Disston avenues, must be completed before a certificate of occupancy is issued for the medical office complex.

City Planning Director Renea Vincent said construction is expected to begin on the medical complex during the third quarter of 2011. Its opening, along with completion of the Meres Boulevard extension, should take place simultaneously during the second quarter of 2012, she said.

The third phase of construction, which could include a second medical office building, affordable multifamily housing, additional senior-living facilities and more retail space at Meres Crossing, will be based on market conditions, the site plan states. It is estimated construction will begin on the final phase of the project during the third quarter of 2012.


Be Sociable, Share!
Leave a Reply