November 28, 2014

Elyria
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Cleveland Clinic breaks ground in Avon

AVON — The new Cleveland Clinic medical facility in Avon took a step closer to reality on Tuesday when ground was broken at the facility’s future site.

“It was pretty neat,” said a happy Mayor Jim Smith, who was on hand for the event.

The new Avon Family Health and Surgery Center is a $97.9 million project on Just Imagine Drive in Avon, east of Nagel Road and north of Interstate 90. It is slated to open in 2011.

The facility will feature a 24-hour emergency department with a helipad, an outpatient surgical center, a physical therapy department with two pools, offices for primary care physicians and more than 30 specialized care departments such as cardiology.

Smith said the new facility isn’t just good for Avon, but all of Lorain County. Many workers who will be hired to build, and later work at, the facility will live and spend their incomes in Lorain County.

“It’s a good stimulus for the whole county,” he said. The Cleveland Clinic estimates the facility will bring $1 million a year in tax revenue and 400 new jobs to the area.

Smith pointed out that where the Cleveland Clinic goes, other businesses follow. He sees hotels, restaurants and retail sprouting up as patients and their families travel and visitors of the Clinic spend their money nearby. The increased money spent means more sales tax revenue.

“While the rest of the country has been in a recession for 18 months, Lorain County’s been in a recession for eight or nine years,” he said. “This sort of project provides for a good diversification of our job base. The value of this project will be felt down the road as companies see this as a validation that Lorain County is a good place to invest and a good place for people to live. Also, they’ll see that the area has quality health care for their employees.”

The next phase of developing where Nagel Road and I-90 meet is building a new exit off I-90 onto Nagel. The $125 million project is expected to begin sometime in the next 18 months, Smith said.

Contact Melissa Hebert at 329-7129 or mhebert@chroniclet.com.