After recently opening clinics in Monona and DeForest, Meriter Health Services is preparing to build its largest clinic in Middleton.
Meriter plans to build its latest clinic on 13 acres, west of Laura Lane, just off the rapidly redeveloping Parmenter Street corridor. The health care provider has a 20-year plan for the site that could eventually deliver as much as 250,000 square feet of outpatient health care facilities, said Kevin Snitchler, assistant vice president of facilities development for Meriter-UnityPoint Health.
This summer, Meriter plans to remove or demolish five buildings, tear up the asphalt and concrete, and replace it with new topsoil and grass to improve the aesthetics of the site until work on the clinic is expected to begin sometime in 2017.
Snitchler estimated the first phase of Meriter’s development will include a 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot outpatient facility, though he cautioned it could be decades before there is enough density to support up to the full 250,000 square feet.
Meriter has opened several other large clinics in recent years. In 2011, it opened a 30,000-square-foot primary care clinic at the intersection of Highways 51 and 19 in DeForest. That same year the health care provider opened a roughly 57,000-square-foot clinic at the intersection of Highway 51 and Broadway in Monona.
“I would expect something comparable, maybe a little bit bigger than the Monona clinic,” Snitchler said. “Whatever we do in Middleton will probably be the largest outpatient project that Meriter has done to date.”
In its development agreement with Meriter, the city agreed to pay $11 million in tax increment financing loans to help spur the project. In return, Meriter promised $80 million in development on the site formerly occupied by warehouses, Middleton Public Works and Bogey’s Family Fun Park, which closed in late 2010.
“The exponential benefit for our property tax base is pretty monumental,” said Middleton city administrator Mike Davis, adding that it would be at least 50 times the properties’ current combined assessed value of $1.6 million.
The decision to pursue another large clinic in Middleton was based on population density, demographics and traffic patterns.
The site’s easy access and high visibility from the Beltline made it ideal, though Meriter has not fully decided what services it will offer there.
“We have a lot of lease space in the Middleton area that we’ll consolidate into this new clinic, so that’s the easy part. But what services over and above just a primary care clinic do we want to provide to the city of Middleton — that’s just where we need more time to work that out internally,” Snitchler said.
Meriter’s project is the latest redevelopment either planned or underway in the Parmenter Street area.
The city is building an 82,000-square-foot Municipal Operations Center, which will house the city’s public works, public lands and utility departments when it opens this spring.
Developers Bradley Hutter and Brad Duesler partnered to build Parmenter Center, a 40,000-square-foot office building, expected to open in June.
The project is the developers’ first phase of a $40 million-plus overhaul along the eastern side of the former Highway 12 corridor.
Their future plans call for construction of Parmenter Place — a new mixed-use building with 30,000 square feet of commercial space and about 220 apartments — and a 40,000-square-foot addition and renovation to the Lucigen Corp. headquarters.
Farther north, developer T. Wall Enterprises’ planned 31-acre retail, office and residential center, called Tribeca Village, has only seen construction of three apartment buildings, but Snitchler said the slowed pace of that development won’t impact Meriter’s plans.
The recession hampered Tribeca Village, but Hutter said he’s confident that after infill redevelopment along the corridor is complete, Tribeca Village will take off on the city’s edge.
“Ultimately that area — the space between the highway and Middleton proper — is a great space for businesses,” Hutter said. “I think for Terrence (Wall) and Tribeca it’s not years away. Once Meriter gets under way I think it’s really going to kick start.”