Wesley Chapel may be known for its growth and burgeoning housing and restaurant markets, but by 2023, it also will be home to two major hospitals.
On Dec. 2, BayCare held a cere-monial groundbreaking event — construction had already previously begun — before a small crowd of BayCare executives, local politicians and invited community members.
The 86-bed, state-of-the-art hospital is scheduled to be completed in early 2023. According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, planned are 30 medical/surgical inpatient beds, 12 critical care inpatient beds and 10 emergency department beds.
“While 2020 has been an unprecedented year for health care that has called for tough decisions and creative solutions, we are grateful to celebrate the long-term goals that brought us to this moment,” said BayCare Chairman of the Board Eric Obeck at the ribbon cutting. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that keeps setting the pace, even as we react to the coronavirus’ impact on our daily business.”
The new hospital will be located at the northwest corner of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Boulevard and Eagleston Blvd. in Seven Oaks, which is just two miles north of AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, which opened as Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel in 2012.
BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel will offer comprehensive medical services and health care resources, including an emergency department, an intensive care unit with virtual-monitoring beds, diagnostic services such as an imaging department and lab, as well as physical rehabilitation.
BayCare also touts the jobs the new facility will bring to Pasco County. Roughly 500 combined employees will work on constructing the 318,000-square-foot hospital, and then staffing it. According to BayCare, it is investing $246 million in Pasco County.
“Across our system, it is the nearly 30,000 people who work here that make BayCare a great place to work,” said BayCare executive vice president and chief operating officer Glenn Waters. “At the same time, we are proud our patient outcomes are among the best as well.”
BayCare purchased 34.6 acres of the planned new site for $15 million in 2006, and then paid $6.67 million for an adjoining 19.9-acre parcel in 2007, for a combined $21.67 million.
Also in 2007, BayCare purchased an 18.25-acres parcel of land across Eagleston and west of BBD in Wiregrass Ranch for $9.4 million, opening the door for possible expansion.
The company originally met with county planners in 2018, looking to build a 60-bed acute care hospital on an 111-acre site it had planned to acquire in the northeast quadrant of the future I-75 exit at Overpass Rd. — construction of which has not yet begun.
“To the leaders here planning new construction in the midst of a pandemic, I thank you,” Waters said. “To the elected officials who have joined us today and who are balancing so many unforeseen challenges this year, I thank you. And, to the local community members who have endured a year like no other, I thank you. We look forward to getting to know each other as BayCare grows along with Pasco County.”