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HOUSTON-St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System has closed on two land parcels, totaling 56 acres, for two new hospitals. The proposed hospitals in the northwest submarket and far west will be 60 to 100 beds, with costs for development ranging from $800,000 to $1.2 million per bed.

St. Luke’s and affiliate Kelsey-Seybold bought 28 acres at Grand Parkway and Kingsland Boulevard in Katy from a local seller. It also picked up 28 acres in the Vintage, a 630-acre mixed-use development at the intersection of Texas 249 and Louetta Road. Vintage developer Kickerillo and Mischer’s V&W Partners Ltd. of Houston is the seller.

St. Luke’s currently is building an emergency clinic along Chasewood Park Drive, also in the Vintage. The new hospital site is adjacent to the 12,000-sf clinic, which will open in a couple months.

David Koontz, senior vice president with Houston-based St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, says the next step for both parcels will be to find physicians to collaborate in the design, planning and construction of the buildings.

“Depending on the level of support and interest we obtain, we can go to the hospital board for authorization to proceed,” Koontz says. The hospitals are projected to open in 2010 or 2011.

St. Luke’s has a presence in the Texas Medical Center and a healthcare center in the Woodlands. However, Houston’s growth combined with the organization’s mission to be accessible to the community led to the decision to add more facilities.

Koontz tells GlobeSt.com that, in addition to the Katy and northwest developments, St. Luke’s plans to double the capacity of the Woodlands hospital. Also, St. Luke’s and groups of physicians have entered into long-term leases with developers who are in the design phase for facilities in Sugar Land and Clear Lake.

Koontz acknowledges that St. Luke’s has a lot going on, but points out that the expansion is necessary. “For us to remain a prominent healthcare provider, we need to be convenient and available to new populations,” he says.

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