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Medical office building delayed

The planned construction of a $14.9 million medical office building on the downtown campus of Springfield Regional Medical Center has been delayed.

Construction had been set to begin this past October, but no significant work has started.

“As of now, it’s still planned and is being reconfigured,” said Community Mercy Health Partners spokesman Dave Lamb.

The four-story, 80,000-square foot building was expected to be completed by November 2013. It is now projected to open in 2014.

The building will provide health care, diagnostic treatment and physician services, and will be connected to the new three-story, $235 million hospital.

“We elected to take the time to re-evaluate the best configuration of the building,” Lamb said. “The results of that review will help determine the timeline. At this point it wouldn’t make sense to break ground in the middle of winter.”

CMHP is the largest employer in Clark County with 2,700 employees.

The organization is making plans for the medical offices based on who commits to lease space in the building, Lamb said. He was unaware of who has already committed to the project.

The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton’s specialty care center, located inside the MercyCrest Medical Arts Building, 30 W. McCreight Ave., and the Springfield Regional Imaging Center, located at 1343 N. Fountain Blvd., were expected to move into the new office building.

“We’ve been working with the developer on that, to take a look at the plans,” Lamb said.

Legislation on a 60-percent tax abatement deal between CMHP and the city was expected to be voted on by city commissioners on Oct. 23, but was never put on the agenda and has yet to be re-introduced.

The tax deal is expected to be for 10 years and to abate 60 percent of property taxes, effective from 2014 through 2024. The deal would allow the hospital to pay 40 percent of its real estate taxes on the offices, savings that would be used to entice possible tenants.

The deal was expected to retain 42 jobs and create five new jobs, totaling about $1.9 million in salaries.

CMHP had begun site work on the project and infrastructure has been completed for the new building, which will be connected to the hospital.

A building permit has been completed by the city’s community development department, but hadn’t been picked up as of late last week.

The Springfield City school board voted 3-2 for the tax abatement deal, but members were upset because it would cost the district about $1.2 million over 10 years.

State law requires any tax abatement deal for more than 50 percent to go before the school board for a vote. If the board had voted against the abatement, it only would’ve stopped any city legislation from being passed for 45 days.

Tom Franzen, the city’s economic development administrator, said any changes made to the scope of the project may require another vote by the school board.

“We’re just in a holding pattern, waiting on the developer and the hospital to determine their course of action,” Franzen said.

Community Mercy is currently searching for a president and chief executive officer after Mark Wiener’s resignation last week. CMHP has chosen not to appoint an interim leader, but will instead have a six-person leadership team guide its day-to-day operation.

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