Essentia Health breaks ground on £648m Vision Northland project in Minnesota, US

WCN Editorial Team 27 Sep 2019 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

US-based healthcare provider Essentia Health has broken ground on its $800m (£647.6m) Vision Northland project, which will be located in the downtown of Duluth, Minnesota.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by hospital officials, city and state leaders.

In the next three years, Essentia Health plans to replace a hospital bed tower, surgical suites and clinic space, which is expected to begin this November.

Essentia Health is investing nearly $675m (£546m) for the construction to replace hospital bed tower and surgery suites for St. Mary’s Medical Center and clinic space on its downtown Duluth campus. It will also spend another $125m (£101m) on related infrastructure and financing.

The project will be built on 928,000ft² of new space and will renovate about 120,000ft² of existing facilities.

Essentia Health claims that by building up instead of out, its overall footprint could be reduced, opening space for other development in Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood.Construction of the project is expected to be completed in 2022.

During the construction phase, more than 5,600 construction jobs and 3,600 off-site construction-related jobs could be created, adding significantly to the local economy.

Essentia Health’s Dr. Robert Erickson said: “From the perspective of a caregiver like me Vision Northland will allow us to practice in a facility that has been designed for our patients and their families in mind it will allow us to be more efficient more effective and more collaborative. It will allow us to provide the latest treatments.”

Duluth mayor Emily Larson said: “In the next few years we will be seeing a lot of change in the transformation of the city of Duluth including this medical district so there will be inconveniences there will be street closures. There is also going to be growth and progress part of that inconvenience is what gets us to the other side of a finished project.”

In May this year, Essentia Health selected McGough Construction for the project’s construction. The two companies have signed a project labour agreement (PLA).

With the PLA in place, the healthcare provider and the contractor have formalised their cooperation and partnership.

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Image: Rendering of Essentia Health’s Vision Northland project. Photo: Courtesy of Essentia Health.

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