Boone Hospital project could include offices, physical therapy center

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | 9:01 p.m. CST; updated 9:50 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Representatives of the Boone Hospital Center met with city planners to discuss development of 13 acres at the corner of Forum and Nifong boulevards. The area is the proposed site of a medical office park.

COLUMBIA — Boone Hospital Center will construct four buildings to be used for office space and possibly a physical therapy center at the corner of Forum and Nifong boulevards, project engineers announced Tuesday.

A Civil Group, an engineering firm hired by the hospital, and Coil Construction filed a request Jan. 14 to rezone the 13.77-acre lot from office to commercial zoning, which would allow the hospital to use the buildings for medical purposes.

Jay Gebhardt, the principal engineer and surveyor for A Civil Group, said the commercial designation would allow for amenities such as an on-site pharmacy.

Boone Hospital Center purchased the land in 1993.

Fred Parry, chairman of the Boone Hospital Center board of trustees, outlined the hospital's vision for neighbors who live in the area.

“We would like to have a new office park,” Parry said. “It’s mostly for the convenience factor as the population in that part (of town) grows.”

Parry said the development would be completed in three to 15 years.

To help minimize traffic near the buildings, the proposal includes plans to add a right-turn lane to both Forum Boulevard and Nifong Boulevard to allow for access to the facility. It will also add bicycle lanes and a sidewalk to both roads alongside the development.

The proposal will be presented at the Feb. 21 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, and a recommendation will be made to the City Council to either pass or reject it. The proposal will reach the council in March.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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