WellStar buys 62 acres for health park
by Joshua Sharpe
August 05, 2013 12:00 AM | 727 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - Three months after the Holly Springs City Council voted "no" to allowing WellStar Kennestone to construct a hospital and hospice facility at the intersection of Interstate 575 and Sixes Road, the Marietta-based nonprofit has announced that it is moving ahead with another project on the land.

Michelle Robinson, spokesperson for WellStar, recently said the health provider finalized the purchase of the 62-acre plot and plans to build a 150,000-square-foot "health park" there.

The park will house between 25 and 30 physicians with varying specialties and will bring between 125 and 150 jobs to Cherokee County, Robinson said. The complex was one of three projects WellStar hoped to build on the same 62-acre plot when applying to the city of Holly Springs for rezoning and permitting earlier this year. But in the midst of strong opposition to the company's plans from residents - and WellStar competitor Northside-Cherokee - the Holly Springs City Council denied the hospital's request for a conditional-use permit, which would have allowed the construction of a hospital and hospice on the land in addition to the health park. Holly Springs City Manager Rob Logan said the health park WellStar has proposed building would be allowed under the current zoning of the land and would not require any special permitting.

WellStar could come back to the city, however, and ask for the hospital permit again if they choose, Logan said.

"They could come back and request a conditional-use permit again," he said. "That's at their discretion, but under our rules, they'd have to wait a year."

Robinson said there are no plans to go back to Holly Springs for the permit and no plans to build a hospital or hospice facility on this property.

"Right now, our plans are just to move forward with the health park," she said.

Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2014 for the complex, which will be similar to the health park WellStar opened last year in Acworth, Robinson said.

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