43129309 - health care and healthy living

On Feb. 2, the Peoria City Council unanimously approved $130 million in bond money for the municipality’s first full-service hospital. 

Peoria Regional Hospital will be located at 26320 N. Lake Pleasant Parkway between Jomax and Happy Valley roads. 

“The city of Peoria is thrilled to welcome Peoria Regional Hospital as our first full-service hospital and the latest addition to our growing advanced health care industry,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat. 

“It’s vital that all residents have access to quality medical care close to home; and, with the new jobs this facility will bring, I am grateful for the widespread impact this hospital will have on our community.” 

Construction on the hospital building is expected to begin in April 2021 with it opening its doors in late 2022. The hospital is projected to bring over 150 jobs to the area.

A half-finished foundation on the site for a former project that ran out of funding was long considered an “eyesore.” It has been cleared, leaving an empty lot where the hospital is planned.

“For years, this site sat dormant, and now it’s being utilized to provide much-needed, specialized medical services and infrastructure updates to the rapidly growing North Peoria area,” said Mesquite District Councilmember Bridget Binsbacher.  

The financing for the project comes from bonds that will be passed through Industrial Development Authorities.

Peoria Economic Development Services Director Rick Buss explained this is not an unusual way for hospitals to be financed. Dignity Health, Banner Health and HonorHealth have all used this type of financing, Buss said. 

“Passing them through industrial development authorities provides better rates. If it’s a nonprofit they can get nontaxable bond issuance,” Buss said.

As part of a partnership, Phoenix and Peoria city councils met and unanimously approved the bond, though there is no financial risk to either city. To accommodate the neighborhood traffic, they will add a traffic light at Lake Pleasant Parkway and Remuda Drive. Currently, area residents have a right-turn-only option and have to travel to Jomax and make a U-turn to head south, Buss said. 

“It’s a nice win-win situation for the area benefiting multiple parties,” Buss said. “Over the past two years, Peoria’s Economic Development Services Department worked to recruit and form a development team that could fund, design, construct and operate a regional hospital at the site. We are excited to see this long-awaited hospital development come to fruition.”

 

—Staff writer Allison Engstrom can be reached at aengstrom@timespublications.com.