Surgical Center Proposed For University Estates

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University Estates, conceived as a mixed-used development but so far including only residential uses, could be getting its first business.

The Athens Planning Commission recently gave site-plan approval for an ambulatory surgical center to be constructed at University Estates. Approval was contingent upon the Athens Shade Tree Commission giving its OK at an upcoming meeting and upon working out an easement for a shared driveway (which a project engineer says has been resolved).

An application also has been filed for a state building permit, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce website.

The proposed project is being done in conjunction with SurgCenter Development, a California-based company that partners with local surgeons to create physician-owned and operated ambulatory surgical centers.

City officials said they do not know what physicians are involved in the project.

However, one of them is reportedly Dr. Jason Reed, an Athens orthopedic surgeon currently based at the Castrop Center. Reed is part of a physician practice called Joint Implant Surgeons Inc. that has clinics in several Ohio cities.

Reed did not return phone messages left by The Messenger on Thursday and Friday, and the newspaper was also unable to obtain comment from Joint Implant Surgeons.

General contractor for the project is Brinkmann Constructors of Chesterfield, Missouri. Online bid documents refer to the project as the Southeast Ohio SurgCenter. Dan Geil of Brinkman confirmed that the current timeline calls for construction to begin in November and take about six months to complete.

Jason Marnin, director of construction and physical plant management for SurgCenter Development, said the project is not far enough along for him to comment publicly.

Plans submitted to the city show the proposed building having examination rooms, operating rooms, recovery rooms, a physical therapy suite and other components.

University Estates, located on Route 682, was conceived several years ago as a development that would have both residential and commercial uses, as well as a golf course. The golf course was never built, but University Estates does include private residences, condominiums and apartments.

Buckley Group of Athens did the site engineering work for the surgical center project.

Ryan Buckley said the proposed site is the first University Estates lot on the left, after entering off Route 682.