Kendall Hospital Plans 110 Million Renovation
By Sherri C. Ranta
Kendall Regional Medical Center officials will spend $110 million to renovate and expand the facility while continuing to look for a site to build another hospital.
Officials plan to construct a new four-story building, a 48-bed emergency room and a power plant and renovate the existing facility at Bird Road and Florida’s Turnpike, said Peter Jude, director of marketing and public relations.
"We’ve outgrown our space," he said. "This hospital first opened in 1973, so although we’ve done additions over the years we have not been able to keep up with the tremendous growth in West Miami-Dade County."
Plans call for an expansion of 163,258 square feet that would almost double the hospital’s size. Completion is expected in two to three years. The most recent major expansion was the addition of maternity services in 1996.
The expansion, Mr. Jude said, would include a new entrance, a new lobby, a new and expanded emergency room, a 52-bed intensive-care unit and 10 new operating rooms, including two for open-heart surgeries.
Kendall bought an 11-acre tract west of its facility for the project. Several rental houses and a medical-office building were on the site. The houses were demolished, Mr. Jude said, but officials will keep the office building, which the hospital once owned.
Hospital officials are looking for 30 to 40 contiguous acres in West Dade to build a new 80-bed-hospital, tentatively called Tamiami Hospital. They had been interested in land near Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, Mr. Jude said, but it was deemed too close to the airport.
"We have the money. We have the certificate of need," he said.
Meanwhile, Baptist Health South Florida plans to build new hospitals in West Kendall and Homestead to replace an aging facility.
Construction in Homestead is under way, officials said, but a lawsuit could delay construction of the West Kendall hospital. Baptist hopes to buy land on Southwest 96th Street in the planned 160-acre Kendall Town Center, which would also include a hotel, a 20-screen movie theater, restaurants and retail stores.
Opponents have sued protesting impact on area traffic. A nearby resident is challenging the hospital’s plan to put a multistory building in front of his home. Previous plans had the hospital fronting Kendall Drive.