HealthPartners announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase land from Luther Seminary. The land, which is across the street and on the north side of HealthPartners Como Clinic, will be the new location for the clinic.
That is the same tract of land on which nonprofit developer Ecumen had proposed in September to build a 121-unit apartment building and 112-unit memory-care facility.
HealthPartners’ land purchase is the first step in a multi-year process that will start with an extensive community engagement and design phase. Groundbreaking is expected in three to four years and construction would take an estimated 18 months. The current clinic will continue to offer all services until the new facility opens.
The new building is expected to be roughly the same size as the current clinic and will offer similar services, including primary, specialty and urgent care, dental and pharmacy.
The land purchase is part of Luther Seminary’s plan for long-term development. These plans include a senior housing project with 49 units that will be built by Ecumen and other renovations to the campus.
Ecumen has purchased land to build a three-story senior cooperative on 1.6 acres at the southeast edge of the seminary’s campus just north of the corner of Como Avenue and Luther Place. Sales for the cooperative will begin this spring. The project is expected to be completed in late 2017.
Michael Morrow, Luther Seminary’s vice president of finance and development, said HealthPartners approached the seminary last fall with interest in the property.
“We brought Ecumen and HealthPartners together and sat the three parties down,” Morrow said. “As we looked at options, it became clear that the better use of the property was to go with HealthPartners.”
“[HealthPartners] is very committed to this area,” he said.
Como Clinic opened in 1957 as the first clinic for what was then Group Health. It was a new model that provided both medical care and health care financing. The model focused on prevention and maintaining health as a way to reduce medical expenses and make care more affordable. In 1992, Group Health merged with MedCenters to become HealthPartners.