Proposed $25M health care facility to serve 17,000 Kent County residents annually

If the proposed $25 million Heart of the City Health Center becomes reality, the new Heartside-based complex could serve 17,000 low-income Kent County residents annually.

That's the prediction of Greg Dziadosz, president of Touchstone Innovaré. Touchstone, Cherry Street Health Services and Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance will combine their services at the new complex, which will be located in the 100 block of Cherry Street SE.

"The majority of healthcare costs seem to be going into chronic illnesses and we realized we were all treating chronic illnesses," Dziadosz says. "People with heart disease often are depressed or have other health problems. Our question is, is there a better way to treat chronic illnesses in general and to treat chronic co-diseases?"

Dziadosz describes the proposed development as a "health care mall" where low-income patients can receive medical, dental and vision care, mental health services, short-term outpatient care and substance abuse counseling. An onsite pharmacy adds an additional convenience for patients.

The health center will be strategically located a short walk from Saint Mary's Health Care and the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, places where families in need can avail themselves of additional resources.  

The facility replaces the Cherry Tree Court Apartments and adjacent surface parking lot. Preservationist efforts by Rapid Growth's Jeff Hill and others to relocate the Perry Building section of the apartments have come to a standstill because, as Hill states, "There are too many challenges to making the move happen."

The City of Grand Rapids approved brownfield tax credits; Dziadosz says the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has yet to sign off. The development may also qualify for new market tax credits.

Dziadosz expects to break ground before Thanksgiving. He expects the completed facility to create 90 new healthcare jobs.

Design Plus is the architect. A construction manager has not been selected.

Source: Greg Dziadosz, Touchstone Innovaré; Jeff Hill, Rapid Growth

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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