Northwest Health plans to build freestanding ER at former Clarion Hotel site in Fayetteville

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 3,559 views 

This architectural rendering shows the freestanding ER being proposed in Fayetteville by Springdale-based Northwest Health.

Springdale-based healthcare organization Northwest Health is planning to build a standalone emergency room on South Shiloh Drive in Fayetteville — the first redevelopment on the former site of the Clarion Hotel.

The large-scale development plan has been filed with the city of Fayetteville and indicates a 10,400-square-foot, single-story building would be built on a 2.82-acre tract. A public hearing regarding the project is scheduled May 3 at City Hall.

In an emailed statement, a Northwest Health spokeswoman confirmed the development plan, but offered no additional details.

“Currently, we are exploring opportunities to expand our emergency services in the Fayetteville area,” the statement read. “We are in the planning phase and look forward to making an announcement as work progresses.”

Northwest Health is owned by Community Health Systems of Franklin, Tenn. It has a combined active medical staff of more than 540 physicians, 2,200 employees and 487 beds.

Northwest Health is also one of the largest health networks in Northwest Arkansas with five hospitals:

  • Northwest Medical Center – Bentonville
  • Northwest Medical Center – Springdale
  • Siloam Springs Regional Hospital
  • Northwest Health Physicians’ Specialty Hospital
  • Willow Creek Women’s Hospital

The former Clarion Hotel, vacant for three years, was razed earlier this year. The 7.05-acre property is owned by TSSD LLC, which is a subsidiary of the Razorback Foundation, the nonprofit organization that serves as the private fundraising arm of the University of Arkansas athletics department.

Razorback Foundation executive director Scott Varady said the foundation has leased the property on a short-term basis to Little Rock-based development firm Commercial Realty LLC. Commercial Realty broker Tyler Wilson said the company will eventually exercise its option to purchase the property at the end of the lease term.

Wilson did not comment on the Northwest Health project when reached by telephone, but he did tell the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal several weeks ago the 2.82-acre lot on the north end of the property was under a contract to be purchased by a medical-based user.

Wilson did say the remaining 4.2-acre lot has received interest from “multiple” hotel operators who are interested in developing that portion of the property.

Freestanding ER facilities are medical facilities that are open 24/7 but are not connected to a hospital. They can handle more critical cases than urgent-care facilities, but would transfer even more critical patients to a traditional ER.

Nashville, Tenn.-based HFR Design is the project architect, and Crafton Tull is the engineer of record.

The Northwest Health ER would be the latest in a string of new healthcare projects popping up along the I-49 corridor in Northwest Arkansas. Arkansas Children’s Northwest opened its multimillion-dollar hospital in February near the Don Tyson Parkway exit in Springdale. Mercy Northwest Arkansas broke ground this past fall in Springdale on a $40 million multispecialty clinic on a 31-acre site west of the interstate at Elm Springs Road and 48th Street. Highlands Oncology Group is also planning a new center just off the Don Tyson Parkway exit at I-49 in Springdale.

Mercy Hospital in Rogers is also in the midst of an expansion of its hospital along the interstate. The $127 million project includes the addition of a new seven-story, 279,000-square-foot inpatient tower to the existing hospital. That will increase the capacity from 200 beds to about 360.