RENDERINGS REVEALED FOR ESSENTIA HEALTH'S $800 MILLION "VISION NORTHLAND" PROJECT

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Feast your eyes on the renderings for Essentia Health’s “Vision Northland.” 

The massive $800 million, 930,000 square foot project will see the creation of state-of-the-art medical facilities that will allow Essentia Health to be able to provide the highest level of health care to the Northland.

Plans for the “Vision Northland” project include $675 million for the creation of a new hospital tower, clinic and outpatient surgery center along with the renovation of 115,000 square feet of existing space. An additional $125 million will be used for infrastructure upgrades and financing costs.

The decision to build up versus out was intentional. Essentia Health wants to reduce their overall footprint within the Central Hillside neighborhood in order to open space for other development to occur. This plan will will ultimately create a stronger neighborhood that not only serves Essentia Health and the surrounding medical district but the community of Duluth as well.

Construction on the project is expected to begin this year with a completion set for 2022.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

Something that is unique in the planning process for this project is that you have a chance to voice your opinion. The means you also have the chance to affect the overall design for the massive project.

Public comments will be accepted by the City of Duluth through March 13 and you’ve got a number of ways to submit yours.

You can access an electronic copy of the environmental assessment worksheet prepared by Essentia Health by clicking here. There are also hard copies provided at the main branch of the Duluth Public Library downtown and also at the Mount Royal and West Duluth branches. Lastly, the Duluth Planning and Economic Development Office (411 W. First St., Room 110) also has hard copies available. 

On March 12th at 5pm, the Duluth Planning Commission will hold a public hearing within the Council Chambers at City Hall for comments on the environmental worksheet. If you can’t make it to that meeting you can also submit questions or share ideas on the project by visiting Essentia Health’s Vision Northland website here.

With all this being said we have one last thing to say. Don’t waste this chance to make sure your voice is heard on the city of Duluth’s largest development project ever.

Essentia Health plans Hermantown Wellness Center

Twin Ports residents, your wish has been granted.

That wellness center (think community center) that you've been dreaming about for decades now might not be that far down the road... literally. Essentia Health along with the city of Hermantown announced recently that a new $17 million wellness center will be built on the corner of Arrowhead Road and Ugsted Road in Hermantown.

Construction of the new facility will take place on the site of the former Hermantown MIddle School. The land and building where generously donated by the Hermantown school board. A portion of the building will be reused while an addition will also be added allowing the structure to cover 72,000 square feet in area (almost three times the size of your local Michael's Arts and Crafts store).

Essentia Health will gain the name rights for the entire facility after a generous $2 million donation was made allowing the initial conception of the project to move forward. As more fundraising takes place for the project naming rights within the building including community spaces, such as the gym, will be awarded.

Interior rendering  | LHB

WHAT'S INSIDE?

Plans for the building include quite a bit. The focal point of the project will be the aquatics center, a space that will include a swimming pool along with, hold your chairs kids, a play area COMPLETE with water slide.

The rest of the building will include space for the local YMCA along with Essentia Health and of course communal spaces. Within those spaces a gym, fitness center with locker rooms, clinic spaces, daycare, classrooms, and other community space will be included. It will truly be a space for the community to take pride and gather in.

THE FUNDS

Funding for $17 million project will come from a few different resources. $2 million as previously mentioned will come from Essentia Health. Another $2.5 million will come from the YMCA while $8 million is expected to come from the state (if approved in the 2016 legislative session). The remaining $4.5 million will come from the city of Hermantown along with St. Louis county. 

Essentia Health's donation will not only give it overall naming rights but also 9,000 square feet of space within the building to house a clinic featuring wellness programs along with space for sports and physical therapy.

TIMELINE

If all goes according to plan and the project receives state aid, construction would begin in 2017 with an opening scheduled for Spring 2018. The project would employ 15 full time employees and nearly 200 part-time employees. 

As always, check back to CDINDULUTH for the latest in Twin Ports development news!