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Grosse Pointe City

February 5, 2013

Beaumont to construct clinic on existing footprint

Infill building on south side to be same height as hospital

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe, at 468 Cadieux, is hoping to use some empty space to improve the main entrance and create a clinic addition within the hospital’s current footprint.

The project — whose site plan was approved by a unanimous vote of the City Council at its Jan. 28 meeting — calls for the construction of a three-story, 5,157-square-foot addition on the south side of the hospital, near the main entrance, City Planner John Jackson of McKenna Associates explained. It will mirror the look of the existing hospital building and will be constructed in a courtyard area that had previously housed a mobile MRI unit, he said. No new signs will be erected, officials said.

Several test services — mammography, bone density, breast ultrasound, stereostatic breast and a cough clinic — will be housed in the addition. New services will be offered in that space, too, including a geriatric clinic, lung nodule clinic, shortness-of-breath clinic and hypertension clinic

“It doesn’t encroach beyond any of the existing setbacks,” Jackson told the council.

It also doesn’t create a structure taller than what’s there now. Although an additional mechanical unit will be placed on the clinic roof, Jackson said it would be screened from view. Other heating, air conditioning and ventilation units are already on the hospital roof, he said.

Eric Gray, a project manager with James Lang LaSalle at Beaumont Health System, said the addition would create a clinic on the first floor and offices on the second and third floors. Hospital officials are particularly excited about the creation of a revolving door at the main entrance, which Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe President Rick Swaine said should keep cold air from rushing into the lobby like it does now. Gray said they will gain a few feet of corridor and lobby space at the entrance, as well as make it easier for people to find their way around.

“With the lobby, basically, we are just trying to enhance the entrance. … It gives us a better flow for patients waiting for surgery,” Gray said.

The revised entrance/lobby area will feature an improved valet drop-off area and be safer for other visitors with a pull-off for shuttles, he said.

Swaine said the project is important for Beaumont, because there are a lot of clinical and in-patient services they want to move into the new addition. Clinical services are currently taking up patient rooms, he said.

The exterior near the revolving door will be enhanced by the installation of stamped concrete, stone planters with seating, and the replacement of light poles with eight new 8-foot-tall ornamental light poles that City planners said would be mounted onto the brick planters.

Legally, there wasn’t much officials could have done to block the proposal, if they didn’t like it.

“This … comes under existing zoning, which is regulated by a consent judgment,” Jackson said. According to that judgment, he said the hospital could expand, if such an expansion fits into the present building envelope, which this project does.

There was one area of particular concern for City officials.

“We focused extensively on how this was going to impact parking,” Jackson said.

Beaumont now has 935 parking spaces on- and off-site to accommodate patients, visitors and staff, Jackson said. With the addition projected to create demand for 26 parking spaces for hospital employees and patients, he said the hospital would now be occupying 933 of the 935 available spaces.

Jackson said hospital representatives would continue to manage on-site parking to make sure there were enough spaces for visitors.

As to ongoing friction between the hospital and its residential neighbors, Jackson said hospital officials have been keeping nearby residents informed as of late about this and other projects.

“I hope we’re moving in the right direction now,” Swaine said, telling the council he takes “full responsibility” if communication between Beaumont and its neighbors may have been lacking in the past. “We’ve taken this very seriously, as far as meeting with neighbors.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.