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GILBERT, AZ-PHD Property LLC is moving through permitting and design processes to build 50 to 60-bed acute-care hospitals in Peoria, Florence and Buckeye, AZ. The developer hopes to begin dirt work by year’s end for the hospitals, each with an estimated all-in development cost of $50 million.

The Gilbert, AZ-based developer already owns the sites for Florence Hospital at Anthem and Peoria Regional Medical center while the Buckeye Regional Medical Center site remains under contract. Timothy Johns, one of the principals with PHD Property, says the Buckeye land should be in hand in 30 days.

Johns says it will take 14 months to complete construction on each 60,000-sf hospital. In addition to acute-care beds, there will be 20 to 30 beds in the emergency department.

Johns tells GlobeSt.com that all three acute-care centers are based on the successful model of Gilbert Hospital, which opened in 2006 with 28 beds and will soon be expanded by 80 beds. “Ours aren’t part of a larger health system and they’re partially physician-owned and investor-owned,” says Johns, who is working in partnership with David Wanger on the projects. “This makes us smaller, leaner and more efficient.”

Johns points out that Gilbert Hospital physicians are seeing upward of 50,000 patients per year, with most of them having an average wait time of less than five minutes. “The philosophy under which we operate is that nurses and physicians dictate how the hospitals will be run, with the administration supporting the nurses and physicians,” he adds. “It’s the opposite in most campuses.”

Peoria Regional Medical Center will be built at the intersection of Yearling Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway. Florence Hospital at Anthem will sit at the junction of East Hunt Highway and Franklin Road. McDowell Enterprises LLC of Scottsdale is partnering with PHD Property on both projects. James R. McDowell, principal with the firm, says his company will co-develop the acute-care centers as well as additional medical office buildings on the sites, ranging from 40 to 50 acres.

The plan is to develop a 40,000-sf medical office building with the acute-care center in Peoria, but that is subject to change. “We’re still in the permitting and design phase on both projects and we’re working our way through the cities’ processes,” McDowell says.

The Buckeye project will be built in tandem with the Univest Development Group in Scottsdale. Johns says Univest Development plans to build out the acreage surrounding the future hospital.

Johns says that there is a lot of interest and proposals from investors for potential future projects, but PHD Property isn’t actively seeking more land right now. “It takes about one to two years of prep time before getting these out of the ground,” he explains. “We’ve bitten off about as much as we can chew.”

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