Janesville medical complex helps spark development
Sara Investment Real Estate will build a 7,000-square-foot facility on adjoining property that it will lease to Home Health United, a provider of home health services now doing business on North Washington Street in Janesville.
The project will use about half of the property Sara owns at the southeast corner of the intersection of Racine Street and Wright Road.
“I think it’s highly likely that in the next five years we’ll see more development in that area because of the Dean/St. Mary’s campus,” said Brad Cantrell, Janesville’s community development director. “I think it will be both health care related and complementary businesses such as hotels and restaurants.
“It’s a natural.”
Construction is on schedule for the medical campus, which includes the $90 million St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital and the $60 million Dean Clinic. Completion is expected in late 2011.
Rick Bourne, Home Health United president and chief executive officer, said the move from Janesville’s west side to east side makes sense.
“We’re very excited about it,” Bourne said. “We’re affiliated with St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison and have collaborated with Dean. This is an opportunity to continue that relationship.”
Bourne said Home Health United, which serves 25 counties in southern Wisconsin, has outgrown its west-side building. The company will be able to tailor its new building for the 30-plus employees who will work there, he said.
Lynn Marcello, Sara’s director of strategic partnerships, said her company has been working with Home Health United for more than a year on the building, which will cost $669,000.
Sara paid $871,000 for the 10-acre parcel in 2008, six months after hospital and clinic officials announced their building intentions.
Difficult lending markets briefly delayed the hospital/clinic project.
“When the hospital project went on hold for awhile, so did our discussions with Home Health United,” Marcello said. “But once they started pushing dirt around, we again started talking about this building.
“The hospital project certainly kicked all of this off, and we think it will be a great corridor.”
Marcello said Sara plans to build a second building on the site, which for the time being will connect to Wright Road with a frontage road.
Cantrell said the city has done extensive traffic studies in the area in anticipation of more development. Ultimately, he said, the medical campus, the Sara development and Wright Road will include a roundabout.
“Ever since the Interstate arrived in the early 1960s, that intersection has been under developed,” Cantrell said, noting that a proposal many years ago for a truck stop at the interchange failed.
“I think it just shows that if you are patient and wait, you will see the right kind of development,” he said. “I think we’ll see top quality development out there.”