University Hospitals announced earlier this month that it plans to build a community care center, called the UH Rainbow Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, on East 57th Street and Euclid Avenue on a part of 12 acres in MidTown’s Health-Tech Corridor.
Along with the facility, Geis Companies’ Hemingway Development will develop the rest of the land for a second Midtown Tech Park with mixed-use medical companies, retail, restaurants and other commercial space. Bike trails will also be created, and a new bus stop in front of the UH facility are planned, according to Fred Geis.
“We’re engaging the community with public spaces, restaurants with healthy eating and possibly a small market,” Geis says. “This will connect E. 59th Street, connect the Hough neighborhood and League Park. With the bike trails, people can easily walk to the facility.”
HTC director Jeff Epstein says the two projects mean jobs and more development in MidTown. "The additional traffic that comes as a result of development adds to the critical mass to add restaurants," he says. "The intersection of a healthcare provider and technology in the corridor provides opportunities for residents. And University Hospitals' major commitment is using strength to bring additional jobs."
Cleveland City Council, which owns the land, approved the purchase last week. Geis says they are scheduled to go before council again on May 4th for approval of the plans. The deal preserves $13 million in Housing and Urban Development loans and grants originally set for renovating the Warner and Swasey building on Carnegie Avenue and East 55th Street.
The UH facility will provide maternity, post-natal and medical care, and will employ as many as 100 people by June of 2016. UH also plans to house healthy living programming at the facility and provide more than 200 parking spaces. Hospital officials predict the 30,000-40,000 square foot facility will see 47,000 visits a year.
As a whole, Geis conservatively predicts the project will create at least 400 jobs. “Based on experience from down the street at the Midtown Tech Park, it should create 600-800 jobs,” he says. “The Midtown Tech Park provides 600 jobs currently. And employment statistics show female and minorities are in half of those jobs.”
Geis says he wants to attract companies from outside the region to the new park. “Our sincerest goal is to entice people from outside the region,” he says. “This is a brand new area, brand new to the region.”
UH officials are pleased with the services the hospital system will offer in MidTown. “As we plan for future growth, it is clear a new and more convenient location for women’s and children’s services is a priority,” says Steve Standley, UH chief administrative officer. “The MidTown Corridor site is ideal for the patients we serve and aligns with University Hospitals’ economic impact goals to help generate the local economy by attracting more businesses to this urban area.”
Hemingway’s Maura Maresh says the center is exactly what the neighborhood needs. “It’s the opportunity they needed to build this facility instead of building in the usual places,” she says. “It shows the power of what you can do with one project.”
Geis points out that residents in most suburban areas have easy access to community medical centers. Other medical centers, including the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic and two divisions of the Veterans Administration, have already successfully established themselves in MidTown.
“They realized years ago it’s difficult to make it down to University Circle,” Geis says. “This is long overdue that someone comes out here to serve these communities. University Hospitals is the first of the institutions to invest in this type of infiltration of a neighborhood.”
Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2016.