Medical Offices Approved for Gilbert, Ariz.

Gilbert's Design Review Board on Thursday approved the final site plans for parking areas, landscaping and signs for what will be the hospital's medical office building.

The designs and elevations were approved without discussion as part of the board's consent agenda, said Maria Cadavid, a Gilbert planning manager.

The 63,000-square-foot office is being constructed in tandem with the 100-bed full-service Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, being built near Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road.

Catholic Healthcare West will run the hospital, a $145 million project that kicked off in March. Construction is expected to wrap up in March 2006.

Office space near the hospital has become more valuable recently in recent weeks.

Town officials have been considering changing the land use for 160 acres northeast of Val Vista Drive and Germann Road and 80 acres northwest of it. That land is zoned for only residential use.

Planners staged several public meetings and open houses to get feedback from the community.

Developers seeking rights to open offices, stores and other non-residential businesses there were supportive of the idea, though a major concern is handling north-to-south traffic linking the hospital to the planned Santan Freeway.

Cadavid said that proposal was expected to come before the Gilbert Planning and Zoning Commission for review next week.

A 150-acre auto mall and a shopping center also are being built near the hospital.