Allendale Home To New Metro Health Center

August 22, 2008
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ALLENDALE — Metro Health is preparing to open its 13th neighborhood outpatient center in Allendale Township in early 2009, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Jim Childress said last week.

Metro Health plans to lease 9,500 square feet in the 17,000-square-foot building being developed on five acres by Pinnacle Construction Group near the Family Fare supermarket. Childress said Metro Health has already identified a primary care physician who will practice there, and specialists are expected to be available on a part-time basis.

“It’s the next logical step when you look at the geographic coverage provided by our outpatient centers,” Childress said. Those centers include two in Ottawa County, one in Jenison and one that opened earlier this year in Hudsonville. “It’s an area that could use more primary care access.”

Allendale Township Supervisor Jim Beelen said the township invited Grand Valley State University into the negotiations for the new building. The facility is being constructed in an area along Lake Michigan Drive between 60th and 64th avenues that is cited as a “town center” on the five-year-old master land use plan.

In exchange for asking builders to adhere to a “new urbanism” style in the corridor, the Downtown Development Authority is offering to pay for utility extensions into the planned unit developments that will make up the town center, Beelen said.

He said the DDA is ready to go for bids for utilities at the Metro Health site.

“We’re looking at this as an extremely positive thing,” said Beelen, adding that Pinnacle approached the township with the idea of bringing in Metro Health. “We brought Grand Valley in, and that helped demonstrate to Metro Health not only a need in the community, but in the university community, as well. We are very excited about Metro coming to the community.”

Childress said the proximity to GVSU “was a significant factor” in the facility’s location. “We intend to operate this in a manner that will make it more convenient for students,” he said. “One of the things we’re looking at, for instance, is having a physician who also has sports medicine training.”

The project has survived a public hearing and preliminary plan review by the Allendale Township Planning Commission. Commissioners now are waiting for the final plan, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission, which then sends it with a recommendation to the Township Board.

The board will host another public hearing before voting on the final plan, Beelen said.

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