Charlotte Hospital Looks to Construct New Facility

Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital will close at its current location but reopen in a new building somewhere else, according to a plan announced Wednesday.

Presbyterian Healthcare, which operates the hospital and its sister facilities in Mecklenburg County, plans to build a new Presbyterian Orthopaedic along with an adjoining parking deck and medical office building.

"This project will ensure that we stay at the forefront of orthopedic medicine," said Carl Armato, chief executive of Presbyterian Healthcare, which is a division of Novant Health Inc.

The cost of the hospital, parking deck and office building together is estimated at between $100 million and $140 million.

The new site has not been selected, but the company is looking at several. A decision on the location is to be announced by May.

The company also will have to get approval for the project from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates hospital building projects. Presbyterian expects to file an application in May or September.

If approval is granted, Presbyterian officials hope to begin construction early next year.

The current three-story facility is located in the Elizabeth neighborhood near uptown, at the corner of Randolph Road and Caswell Street. It has 140 beds and 12 operating rooms.

It was built in the 1960s by a division of Holiday Inn, which used the building as an extended care facility. A group of physicians later bought the building and operated it as the Orthopaedic Hospital of Charlotte. It changed ownership several times before Presbyterian purchased a 50 percent share of the hospital in 1993 and bought the rest of it in 1998.

"We've invested in many upgrades for the facility over the years, but it's time to build something that is designed specifically for the orthopedic patient," said Kati Everett, a Presbyterian spokeswoman.

The new hospital would be between 190,000 and 220,000 square feet. The parking deck would hold between 700 and 800 cars. The medical office building is projected to offer 100,000 to 120,000 square feet.

Armato said physicians and staff will be involved in planning the new facility through focus groups and meetings with the architects, which will be McCullough England Architect Associates and Freeman-White Architects.

Presbyterian Healthcare has not yet decided what to do with the current facility, Everett said. Officials decided to announce the project Wednesday because they have begun to talk to doctors about it and news was getting out, she said.