UAMS leases space in Children’s Center for Health & Wellness under construction in Springdale; surgery center site still TBA

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,312 views 

The Children's Center for Health & Wellness, seen in this rendering, is under construction at 2575 S. Gene George Blvd. in Springdale.

In March, the University of Arkansas System board of trustees approved an $85 million project in Northwest Arkansas proposed by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

A 185,000-square-foot orthopedic and sports medicine facility will be built at a location to be determined. Speculation would logically lead to the area west of Interstate 49 along Gene George Boulevard near the Don Tyson Parkway exit in Springdale. It is a growing medical corridor but still has plenty of land available to develop.

Little Rock-based Arkansas Children’s and Northwest Arkansas-based Highlands Oncology Group have built multimillion-dollar facilities recently in that vicinity. A 76,000-square-foot medical office building for Little Rock-based USAble Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is under construction in the same area. A five-story, 82,000-square-foot medical office building called Children’s Center for Health & Wellness also is under construction at 2575 S. Gene George Blvd. north of Arkansas Children’s Northwest.

UAMS officials have not announced the surgery center site, but one of the state’s leading commercial real estate offices caught our attention with a marketing brochure for the Children’s Center for Health & Wellness.

Colliers Arkansas writes that the Class A building is “beautifully designed modern architecture on seven acres of master-planned landscaped property anchored by Arkansas Children’s Northwest and UAMS.”

Alan Cole, a principal and executive vice president at Colliers, said that sentence bears no relation to the new surgery center UAMS will develop. The UAMS function the brochure refers to is UAMS Kids First, a statewide network of 11-day treatment clinics providing comprehensive care to young children with special needs.

Cole said the UAMS Kids First clinic in Lowell would relocate to the Children’s Center for Health & Wellness when completed later this year. UAMS’s Schmieding Developmental Center in Lowell will also move to the new building.

Those services will occupy the building’s first two floors. Arkansas Children’s Northwest will be the tenant of the top floor, which totals about 17,500 square feet. The hospital’s primary care clinic will relocate to that floor.

Cole said the remaining two floors are available for lease. CCHWI LLC is the landowner. The limited liability company is owned by C.L. George and Sons LP, a partnership made up of George’s Inc. chairman Gary George and his sister, Cathy (George) Evans.

To watch a video of the new building, click here.

The building is a part of the area now referred to as The Crossings, which also includes a new multifamily community called The Trails at the Crossings. That development is a partnership between the Lindsey and George families, two titans of Arkansas business who have a long-term business and personal relationship. It has 468 units and construction is ongoing on Watkins Avenue. Also in The Crossings is the 15-acre mixed-use Gateway project at the southwest corner of U.S. Highway 412 and Gene George Boulevard.

As for the UAMS project, the new orthopedic and sports medicine facility will include up to 12 operating rooms and a limited number of patient beds. The building’s specialty clinics will consist of sports performance, physical therapy, orthopedic, imaging, research and education.

A site selection could be discussed as early as this week (May 26-27) when the UA System board holds its regularly scheduled meeting in Little Rock. However, the 297-page agenda does not include a mention of the Northwest Arkansas surgery center.