University of Rochester’s largest capital project—a $240 million comprehensive ambulatory orthopaedic campus—is slated to open next year.
Housed at the Marketplace Mall in Henrietta, the facility is expected to be three times the size of UR Medicine’s orthopaedic outpatient clinic at Clinton Crossings. At 120,000 square feet, that site sees 17,000 patients a month.
The new UR Medicine Orthopaedics & Physical Performance Center will provide ambulatory surgery and other essential services in one location. Roughly 100 support and patient care staff are set to move into offices at the center later this year, officials say.
UR’s plans are in line with the increase in orthopaedic surgeries—25 percent—and ambulatory visits—60 percent—that it has seen over the last seven years. At the new facility, ambulatory surgeries will take place in a former Sears building. A multistory patient care tower with diagnostic imaging, clinic space and other patient services will be constructed above the surgery center. That project, awarded to LeChase Construction, is expected to be complete in 2023.
“This transformative space provides a much-needed resource for orthopaedic care that will be easily accessible for patients in our community,” says William Goodrich, CEO and managing partner at LeChase Construction.
When plans were announced in 2019, Paul Rubery M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Marjorie Strong Wehle Professor of Orthopaedics, noted that the project represented an opportunity to build a center that expanded on treatment options and convenience for patients.
“This project answers an urgent, unmet need for patients: faster access to surgery and provider appointments, a convenient location, and a campus and treatment space designed precisely for their needs,” he said. “We understand our patients’ challenges with painful orthopaedic conditions, and the difficulty many of them have in walking. This campus will be built with our patients’ specific needs in mind. It will employ design strategies to make navigating the space as easy and comfortable as possible.”
Medical facilities have been popping up at shopping malls nationwide—a trend that analysts call medtail. Last year, Minneapolis’ Mall of America, America’s largest mall, announced plans for a 2,300-square-foot walk-in clinic, which includes lab space and a pharmacy dispensary. In Foxborough, Mass. the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute had planned a 34,000 square-foot oncology and hematology outpatient site. The project, which was put on hold in 2020, is expected to resume in fiscal 2022.
For Wilmorite, which owns the Marketplace Mall, this change is an opportunity to offer more to patrons.
“The addition of the University of Rochester, combined with our existing mix of retail, food and entertainment partners, when finished, will be a development unlike any other,” says Jonathan Dower, vice president of leasing for Wilmorite. “The Marketplace will intertwine medical, health and wellness with retail, food, entertainment and lodging in one cohesive, vibrant project, creating the ‘playbook’ for other redevelopments across the nation.”
More than 300 construction jobs are expected to be created through the project, which meets the guidelines for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.
Wilmorite is readying to hand off the project site to LeChase Construction, pending final New York State approval for work to begin, officials say.
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor.