Sheltering Arms, VCU to build hospital in West Creek


A rendering of the planned Sheltering Arms Institute. (Courtesy Sheltering Arms)

A joint venture between two of the region’s largest healthcare systems has found its preferred location for a planned rehabilitation hospital.

Sheltering Arms Hospital and VCU Health announced Tuesday plans to build a 114-bed inpatient rehab facility on about 25 acres in The Notch section of the West Creek Medical Park near the intersection of Route 288 and West Broad Street in Goochland County.

The new hospital – dubbed Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute – is set to combine physical rehabilitative inpatient care for people who have sustained a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury or similar illnesses and injuries, said Mary Zweifel, Sheltering Arms interim president and CEO. The hospital will also support a number of its recreational therapy and fitness programs.

VCU Health and Sheltering Arms entered into a joint venture agreement in May to build a rehabilitation hospital somewhere in the region. However, at the time, both systems were mulling where to place the facility.

With the Goochland site in mind, both VCU and Sheltering Arms submitted a letter of intent in September to begin the process of applying for a certificate of public need, a state designation needed for all new healthcare facilities.

The health systems will submit their final application for the proposed hospital on Oct. 31, Zweifel said. State health officials could render a decision on the certificate of need sometime during the summer of 2017.

If VCU and Sheltering Arms’ application is approved, the joint venture would purchase the 25-acre property, which Zweifel said would give the facility ample room for growth. The land is owned by entities attached to the Pruitt family and Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Group, which jointly own the 3,500-acre  West Creek business park.

While square footage, specs and cost estimates about the pending construction of the hospital are still in the works, renderings of the proposed hospital show a multi-story development rising in the emerging medical office park.

Zweifel said the group likes West Creek Medical Park because of its access to the Interstate 64 and 295 interchange, and residential and commercial growth flowing into Goochland County via West Broad Street.

“We’ve been talking about this for a few years,” Zweifel said. “We looked at a number of sites…but ultimately settled on West Creek because of its visibility, quick access for our staff and patients, large acreage for future expansions and ample space for surface parking.”

As part of the new venture, Zweifel said Sheltering Arms would consolidate all its rehabilitation beds into the new facility – a measure that could affect its Midlothian and Hanover hospitals.

“The lease is coming up at St. Francis,” Zweifel said, referring to its Midlothian facility on St. Francis Boulevard. “So we would look at not renewing the lease there. We’re still trying to determine what to do with our Hanover facility.”

None of Sheltering Arms’ 11 outpatient centers throughout the region would be affected by its consolidation efforts.

West Creek Medical Park has experienced significant growth in recent months.

Stony Point-based Medarva, in conjunction with Lingerfelt Commonwealth Partners, opened West Creek Medical Park – a 62,000-square-foot facility – in the development in March. It houses offices for Virginia Physicians for Women and Dr. Jeffrey Zuravleff, a local plastic surgeon.

Officials with Richmond Plastic Surgeons announced plans this summer to vacate its offices at 5899 Bremo Road and relocate to a 6,200-square-foot office space at the nearby Goochland medical park.

Senior living facilities are also taking note of the area’s health care development. The Pearl at Short Pump includes plans to construct 48 memory care units at 12501 Broad Street Road in The Notch section of the West Creek development.

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