Commission gives its nod to Grandview Yard hospital

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission has approved a conceptual design and certificate of appropriateness for a rehabilitation hospital that will be built in the Grandview Yard development.

The project, along with soon-to-be completed three-building Apartments at the Yard complex, will be the finishing element to the Yard’s first phase, Nationwide Realty Investors President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Ellis told the commission at its Aug. 2 meeting.

HealthSouth Corp., a Birmingham, Ala., based company, will build the two-story, 62,000-square-foot rehab hospital at the northeast corner of Northwest and Goodale boulevards.

“We have spoken for some time of the opportunity we believe the health sector offers for this location,” Ellis said.

HealthSouth will be the Yard’s first medical component, “and we hope it won’t be the last,” he said.

The facility will provide rehabilitation services for patients with health issues relating to such conditions as brain, cardiac and spinal-cord injuries, said Art Wilson, chief real estate officer for HealthSouth.

The patients will come to HealthSouth from acute-care hospitals, Wilson said.

“They continue to need some care (before they can) get back into a normal lifestyle at home,” he said.

The average length of stay for patients at HealthSouth facilities is 14 days, Wilson said. About 75 percent of patients are able to return home directly from a HealthSouth hospital.

“Our primary concern is clinical care,” he said.

The hospital at the Yard will have 50 beds, all in private rooms, and about 130 employees, with an average salary of just under $70,000, Wilson said.
“We employ caregivers, not physicians,” he said.

Patients’ physicians will visit them and provide additional service at the HealthSouth hospital.

HealthSouth will invest between $20 million and $24 million at the site, including land and building costs, Wilson said.

While most HealthSouth hospitals are single-story buildings, the company was happy to agree to build a two-story hospital to fit the available space at the Yard, he said.

“Grandview and the greater Columbus market is a good fit for us,” Wilson said.

While the patient rooms all will be on the second floor, the hospital’s first floor will house administrative offices, rehabilitation and fitness areas, a food-service area and all infrastructure for the building, said Eddie Alonso, an architect working on the project for HealthSouth.

Most of the parking for HealthSouth will be available at the nearby parking garage, Ellis said.

About 16 parking spaces will be located inside the building on the ground floor, Alonso said.

Patients will be dropped off via ambulance inside of an enclosed area at the front of the building, Wilson said. That hidden and screened area also will be where deliveries and trash collection are performed.

The rehabilitation hospital will be quieter than an acute-care facility, with most activity ceasing at nightfall.

The planning commission gave its unanimous approval to the application, but commission members Dorothy Pritchard and Robert Wandel both said they thought the building design should have included elements that would have provided clearer and more-welcoming pedestrian access to the hospital.

The commission also approved a lot split that is necessary for the project and recommended City Council approve the new right of way that will result.