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Hennepin County Medical Center announces new downtown Minneapolis clinic

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The Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis will be adding its first new building since the mid-1970s with a new 322,000-square-foot clinic and specialty center, the hospital announced Monday.

HCMC has received permission from the Hennepin County Board to proceed with a $10 million land acquisition directly across 8th Street from the hospital's Emergency Department where the new building would be located. While it was unclear from the HCMC release which parcels are involved, one is a surface parking lot owned by Smith Brothers Parking Inc.

The new Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Center would be part of a $191 million project to not only construct the new building but also to relocate HCMC's helipad from a parking ramp across the street from the hospital to the roof of its emergency room. The new building will include primary care clinics, specialty clinics and outpatient surgery facilities and is set to open in 2016.

“First and foremost this new facility will improve the experience for our patients,” said Jon Pryor, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare System Inc., which owns HCMC. “Right now our primary care and specialty care clinics downtown are spread across nine buildings that we own or lease. Bringing them together into one building will make it more convenient for our patients and more efficient for our staff.”

The new ambulatory care center was first envisioned in a master facilities plan carried out by the hospital in 2007. Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat said the new building would complete the plan, adding, "it’s time to address the need for a new clinic and specialty center downtown.”

The need for such a facility was highlighted by a recent study showing that the capacity of the current facilities downtown will be maxed out by 2017. The hospital said it positions HCMC "to meet the healthcare needs of the growing downtown residential population and employee base, as well as patients from across the region that use HCMC for specialty surgical services."

It would also represent another new construction project in the Downtown East neighborhood, where a major new development for Wells Fargo Bank and new housing will break ground in May in advance of the 2016 opening of a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium.

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