ORLANDO-Florida Hospital Orlando has started demolishing three of its aging 20,000-sf office and nursing home buildings near its main Rollins Avenue campus to make room for the construction of a 15-story, $250-million patient tower that will consist of an estimated 300,000 sf. The building is scheduled to be completed by October 2008.

At the same time, the hospital is relocating about 575 employees from its financial services, marketing and human resources departments to the 113,402-sf, near-empty Spectrum Building it purchased earlier this year at 900 Winderly Place in the 5.7-million-sf Maitland Center submarket. Florida Hospital paid Decade Cos. of Waukesha,, WI $9.1 million, or $80.25 per sf, for the 17-year-old property, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

Hospital officials told GlobeSt.com at the time they figured it would be more cost effective for them to buy and house the employees at the Spectrum building rather than build a new location for the workers. New construction would have cost the hospital at least $150 per sf, area developers familiar with hospital office construction tell GlobeSt.com.

When completed, the new tower will increase Florida Hospital Orlando’s bed count by 300 to 1,182, the hospital says. Florida Hospital Altamonte is adding a 75-bed tower and a larger emergency room. The 211-bed Florida Hospital East on Lake Underhill Drive is adding a four-story, 80-bed addition. Work on the Altamonte and the Lake Underhill locations is scheduled for completion in early 2007.

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