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Emory gets Smyrna’s clearance for new medical office building

April 18, 2019 GMT

Emory Healthcare has Smyrna officials’ blessing to erect a 120,000-square-foot medical office building, but the healthcare group is awaiting further action that would allow it to fully move forward on expansion of its hospital campus.

An estimated $34 million investment into Emory’s 12.7-acre property at 3903, 3949 and 3969 South Cobb Drive, southeast of King Springs Road, is planned following Monday’s 6-0 vote by the Smyrna City Council to rezone the land from office institutional to planned office development. Emory plans to add to the site’s existing 57-bed hospital, 38,000-square-foot medical office building and 25,200-square-foot medical office and arts building. A new parking deck would also be allowed on the site to serve the existing medical office buildings and the addition of its 120,000-square-foot facility.

“We’re very excited to have Emory invest substantial money in that piece of property. It’ll be a great thing for our residents, to have another outstanding medical facility,” said Councilman Tim Gould, who represents the area. “It’ll provide service to the folks from the greater community, the greater Smyrna area and even beyond, and it’ll be a bit of an economic impact for folks coming into work or those using the facility. It’ll turn into a bit of an economic engine.”

While there are several doctors and nurses working out of Emory’s hospital facility now, there are no emergency or in-patient services available.

Mike Mason, vice president of operations at Emory Healthcare, told the Smyrna City Council his organization does not plan on tearing down the existing hospital, but there is a potential for future expansion. Currently, he said, Emory plans this summer to shut down the hospital for a 10-month period where it will be completely renovated on the inside, with a targeted reopening set for August 2020.

But Mason said the hospital’s reopening is contingent on approval of its certificate of need, which has been challenged and remains pending in appellate court. A decision on it could be reached on or before June 1, but no later than August, he added.

As previously reported by the MDJ, Cobb-based WellStar Health System has appealed Emory’s plans, delaying the process of getting the hospital renovated and reopened, according to records obtained from the Georgia Department of Community Health.

WellStar officials did not respond by press time to questions on whether it was still opposing Emory’s certificate of need for the Smyrna hospital.

Gould says Emory’s investment would add to the medical services available to residents of Smyrna and surrounding areas.

“We look forward to seeing Emory grow in the future and provide a great service to our residents.”