The Urbana Planning Commission on Monday approved the site plan for Memorial Health’s 30,494-square-foot medical office building, contingent on the city’s Technical Review Committee being satisfied.
In its application to the city, Lewis Center-based Urbana MOB LLC, an affiliate of medical developer Hplex Solutions, submitted its plan to build the facility on 4.53 acres within the Urbana Commons Planned Unit Development (Walmart) at the northwest corner of the East U.S. Route 36 and North Dugan Road intersection.
Aaron Greene, senior vice president at Hplex Solutions, said Memorial Health – a hospital system in Marysville that owns Memorial Primary Care | Urbana on Scioto Street – will lease the medical facility from Urbana MOB, but will own approximately 7 acres of undeveloped land to the north of the site for possible expansion.
Memorial Health Executive Vice President Spence Fisher said no groundbreaking ceremony has been scheduled as of yet, but if the weather cooperates, the public could see construction as soon as late January or early February.
“The total construction cost for the project is about $9 million, including land and soft costs (architects, engineering, etc.),” he added. “We will also have significant other costs related to FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment).”
The site plan calls for the medical facility to have two access points – one on East U.S. Route 36 just west of the building and one on North Dugan Road just north or at the rear of the property. Additional site plan details include a sidewalk in front of the facility on East U.S. Route 36 and onsite parking for 142 vehicles.
According to comments addressed to the city’s Technical Review Committee (department heads) by the architectural firm Moody Nolan, the facility will employ an estimated 44 individuals and contain 38 exam rooms and four procedure rooms.
Water, sewer concerns
Before moving forward with construction, however, the Planning Commission is requiring the developer to address city staff concerns over utilities on North Dugan Road.
While a sanitary sewer main exists on the southern boundary of the property on East U.S. Route 36, the water main stops prior to the site. The developer has agreed to install the main from its current terminus near the Mary Rutan facility in the PUD to the intersection of East U.S. Route 36 and North Dugan Road.
The issue, however, involves the installation of approximately 385 lineal feet of 8-inch sanitary sewer main and approximately 405 lineal feet of 12-inch water main along North Dugan to edge of the 4.53-acre development.
“From the staff level, we are saying it’s required by ordinance,” Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said. “From a planning standpoint, the ordinance basically says that it should be there for the next guy.”
Greene addressed city staff and Planning Commission concerns over the utilities on North Dugan Road by saying, “I think it’s an interesting scenario that you probably haven’t seen before where Memorial has a long-term lease with the LLC on the corner (4.53-acre lot), and they are subsequently going to own the property in the back.”
He added Memorial isn’t opposed to installing water and sewer on the eastern boundary of the property, which has an estimated price tag of $50,000 to $60,000, but that it’s something Memorial would prefer to address at a later date for financial reasons.
“It’s a cost factor,” he said. “If they don’t do a development for 10 years, why are we having to pay for it now? If we need it, we will get it. For right now, we don’t need it.”
Craig Rutkowski, associate principal at Moody Nolan, added, “Memorial pushed the design to go to a nicer building, so we are trying to come up with mechanisms that we can build the nicer building and keep the costs down. We’ve added close to $100,000 in additional glass and nicer canopies to the front.”
In addressing the city’s ordinance that requires the utilities to be installed along North Dugan Road, Greene said the hospital has stated it’s willing to sign a contract to ensure the water and sanitary sewer mains get put in at some point.
“We are willing to put something in writing that spells out all the parameters now, and if the property (additional 7 acres behind the facility) were to go to sale, then Memorial would have to negotiate that into their purchase price,” he added.
As laid out by the Planning Commission, approval of the site plan is contingent upon the developer addressing all outstanding issues outlined by the Technical Review Committee.
Rezoning issue heads to council
After deciding at its October meeting to table a decision on J&J Champaign’s request to rezone a 34,543-square-foot, triangular-shaped parcel on the north end of Urbana from R-2 Medium Density Residential District to M-1 Manufacturing District, the Planning Commission on Monday passed by a 4-2 vote (members Kerry Brugger and Eric Samuelson voted no) a motion recommending the rezoning request be approved by the Urbana City Council at a later date.
Zoning Officer Adam Moore said while he and Crabill understand public concerns about future manufacturing use of the parcel in question – located directly behind J&J Champaign’s 207 Bloomfield Ave. property and to the east of residential properties located on Talbot Avenue – the economic viability of the parcel depends on rezoning.
“If it is rezoned to M-1, it could be combined with the other parcels owned by J&J Champaign and sold to a potential user who could contribute to the city’s tax base,” Moore said. “If the parcel were to remain zoned R-2, the land would be landlocked with no frontage to either Bloomfield Avenue or Talbot Avenue, which prohibits the development of a single-family dwelling or any other conditional permit use allowed in the R-2.”
Crabill added the rezoning measure will be presented to council on Dec. 6. In order for the rezoning request to become official, a public hearing must be held and council must approve the measure following three readings, he added.
In other business:
•Additional parking is coming to Subway, 721 E. Court St., after the Planning Commission signed off on John Ritter’s (owner) application seeking to build a parking lot on the eastern side of the current building.
Crabill said city staff has been working with Ritter for a year to make the parking lot a reality.
The site plan calls for 8,946 square feet of impervious area to be constructed on the vacant lot directly next door. Once completed, the lot will consist of 17 parking spots, be lit by additional lighting to be installed on the side of the Subway facility, and some type of landscape (yet to be finalized) screening the parking lot on its southern, northern and western boundaries.
Crabill said Ritter has expressed a desire to remodel the restaurant, specifically the area of the facility that once housed a miniature golf business.
•The Planning Commission approved an application allowing for a 34-square-foot monument sign to be erected in front of The Spotted Cow Coffeehouse & Calfe, 927 N. Main St.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.