Council OKs rebate for Mansfield hospital

01/13/2014 11:00 PM

01/13/2014 11:01 PM

A major expansion of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, including construction of a second patient tower and medical office building, advanced another step at the Mansfield City Council meeting Monday night.

The council approved a so-called “380 agreement” that would give the hospital a $200,000 rebate of property taxes levied on the new development.

The council also voted to close Hospital Drive on the south side of the hospital campus. The road closure is part of an ordinance that requires two more council votes for final approval.

Hospital President John Phillips said both of the new structures would be “mirror images” of the existing 100-bed patient building and 90,000-square-foot office building.

“Maybe we’re trying to keep it simple. What we did first works — let’s duplicate it,” he joked after the council meeting.

The projects are part of a long-range development plan approved by the Methodist Health Systems directors board, which last year approved funding for the master plan as well as for the upcoming expansion, he said.

The tower would provide at least 100 additional private in-patient rooms, mainly for intensive care, cardiology and general medical service areas. The office building would provide leased space for the “medical community in support of the hospital,” the contract says.

Phillips estimated the expansion would add about 200 new jobs to the hospital’s current payroll of about 900 employees.

“The continued growth of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center has necessitated that we begin planning for expansion,” he said. “Mansfield and the surrounding area has a very healthy economy, which seems to be very complementary to the growing healthcare industry in this area. We’re happy to be a part of that.”

The tax deal is structured under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code and would be triggered by construction of the physicians building. The city would reimburse the hospital for city taxes, up to $200,000. As a nonprofit, the hospital would not pay taxes on the patient tower.

The hospital, which opened in December 2006 at 2700 E. Broad St., has 310,500 square feet on five floors. It is the only full-service, acute-care medical facility in the city of 60,000 people.

In the contract, the developer Pavilion Properties, agrees to start building the medical offices by the end of 2016 and to have the building ready for tenants by the end of 2017. The covenants also require Pavilion to buy construction materials from Mansfield businesses “to the extent practical and if available in Mansfield at a competitive price.”

The council, which is set to take its second vote on the road closure at its Jan. 27 meeting, agreed to call a special meeting for 8 a.m. Jan. 28 to finalize the deal before the next meeting of the Methodist Health Systems board.

The new patient tower would be built in phases. It would be connected to the west side of the main building, City Attorney Allen Taylor said before the meeting.

The office building is planned for 23 acres immediately south of Hospital Drive, he said.

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