ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Oklahoma City developer has chosen Lovelace Health System to run a new $55 million hospital to be built west of the Interstate 25 exit to Main Street in Los Lunas.
The 110,000-square-foot hospital will be designed and developed by Miller Development + Architecture using private funds and is expected to open in 2015, said the firm’s CEO, Darin Miller, in a telephone interview Friday.
Miller said in a September presentation to the Los Lunas Village Council that the hospital will have between 30 and 40 inpatient beds, about 25,000 square feet of medical office space, an obstetrics unit, MRI and CT scan services, and an outpatient surgical rehabilitation unit.
Lovelace said the project was expected to create 500 construction jobs and 450 full-time jobs. Lovelace also plans to open a primary care clinic in Los Lunas in 2013 to service Lovelace Health Plan members.
Lovelace CEO Ron Stern said the companies’ management agreement should be finalized in the first quarter of 2013.
“Our job will be to work with the owner to determine which services are to be in the building,” Stern said, adding that emergency, surgical, out-patient, laboratory and physical therapy services are planned.
Health care in the community “all has to be tied together,” Stern said. “It’s not just a hospital building. We need to provide continuous care to residents of all ages” with “a thoughtful plan” that takes advantage of existing health care operations and fills in gaps in the community’s care.
Miller said the company will seek Valencia County Commission approval to tap about $12 million in Valencia County property taxes that have been collected since 2007 to subsidize operation of a hospital.
“Our decision (to develop the hospital) does depend on that,” Miller said.
Miller Development + Architecture has developed and owns hospitals in Oklahoma and has “completed more than 200 projects in the health care field over the last 20 years,” Miller said.
Valencia County, which lost its only hospital in 1990 when voters rejected a property tax increase to support it, has been promised a new hospital for years. Voters approved a mill levy in 2006 in response to an effort to locate a county-owned hospital near Belen. The plan hit multiple obstacles, including political disagreements and lawsuits.
The Miller firm did a feasibility study of that project in 2007, but it is not involved in the county hospital effort.
The firm signed a letter of intent in March with the village government to develop a Los Lunas hospital using private funds if a new study showed a hospital was feasible.
Stern said Lovelace, which owns hospitals in Albuquerque and Roswell, had never planned to build a hospital in Los Lunas.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal