Community hub for health care set to be built in Falls

By Kris Dube / News Editor
February 21, 2014
Community hub for health care set to be built in Falls
Land next to the MacBain Centre in Niagara Falls is the planned site for a community hub health-care centre. Graphic courtesy DCL Healthcare Properties.

NIAGARA FALLS – A community hub for health care set to be built in Niagara Falls will be the first of many, says Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati.

DCL Healthcare Properties, a private developer, will be bringing a Medical Arts Centre to a property on Montrose Road, next to the MacBain Community Centre. Ground is expected to be broken in June of this year.

The four-acre project will also include over 20,000 sq. ft. of hospitality and food services.

One of the first projects through Enbridge's Savings By Design program, the building has benefitted from extensive engineering and planning to develop what is being considered an innovative design centered around patients and practitioners.

The facility will be one of the most high-performance and green-minded medical operations in the province, proponents of the project are saying.

Diodati said centres of this calibre coming into the city are the result of positive economic development and growth expectations for that particular area of the community.

“With the projected growth, that will quickly become the centre of the city,” Diodati told Bullet News Niagara.

He said companies are aware of expected growth patterns in municipalities and this is part of the area's appeal, especially with a new hospital being planned in such close proximity.

“We're going to be a centre of excellence for health care because of the new hospital,” said Diodati.

“These new medical centres, I believe, are going to be the way of the future,” he added.

The next steps for the developer include finding a variety of practitioners such as dentists, opticians, cardiologists, dermatologists, pharmacists and other medical professionals to place in the location.

According to DCL, the centre will address “years of practitioner frustrations” with traditional medical buildings – from attention to interior aesthetics and patient comfort to energy costs and air quality.

Institutional parking fees are also something patients, visitors and tenants will not have to worry about, since there will be 278 free parking spots on site.

Frank Deluca, chief executive officer of DCL, agreed with Diodati's comments about growth in the area being a major factor in his company's decision to build there.

“This is an ideal spot for us to launch our program,” he told Bullet News Niagara on Friday.

The facility in Niagara Falls will be used as a pilot project and Deluca said his company has plans to build at least five more in southern Ontario – as far away as Ottawa.

He said the process of recruiting physicians and other medical professionals has already started.

“We're in negotiations with a number of practitioners,” he said.

Deluca said the collective of practitioners that will be under one roof when the facility is complete will need to be balanced and provide services for the community's variety of needs.

“We're trying to engineer the tenant mix as carefully as we engineered the building,” said Deluca.

The building will be a leading example of green practices by using geothermal heating and cooling systems and 100 per cent LED lighting.

The facility will also harvest rainwater, reducing 40 per cent of its usage from the municipal system.