UF Health has received preliminary approval from city officials for a 28-acre, neighborhood hospital complex planned for northwest Ocala.
During Monday’s meeting of the Ocala Planning and Zoning Commission, applicant Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics received a recommendation for approval of its request to change zoning for a planned development adjacent to I-75.
The subject property is an assembly of six parcels consisting of over 28 acres and is located at the northeast quadrant of I-75 and U.S. Hwy 27.
According to city records, the property has approximately 800 feet of frontage along I-75, approximately 1,000 feet of frontage on U.S. Hwy 27, and approximately 1,200 feet of frontage along NW 35th Avenue Road, which provides three primary points of access to the site.
At buildout, the property owner is proposing a mixed-use development that will consist of institutional, office and commercial uses ranging from a neighborhood hospital with emergency department services, to medical offices, to two commercial parcels along U.S. Hwy 27.
According to the developer, the first two phases will focus on the main building, which is located on the west side of the site, adjacent to I-75. The main building will include a neighborhood hospital, emergency department, imaging services, surgery and future medical office clinics, according to developer records.
The developer believes the main building will serve as a catalyst for future building design, with all architecture being similar in style and level of quality to the multi-story hospital.
The property currently sits undeveloped and is directly adjacent to the Ocala 489 distribution center. The surrounding area has recently experienced a transition from residential/commercial use, to light manufacturing/distribution use, with the distribution center creating approximately 2,800 new jobs for the area, according to city records.
A traffic methodology has been submitted for the project is currently under review for the site. That study will determine the level of traffic improvements needed for the area.
Now that the developer has received a recommendation for approval from the commission, the plan will be presented to Ocala City Council members during their December 21 meeting, when they will make a final decision on the rezoning request.
The Ocala City Council meets regularly on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. at Ocala City Hall, which is located at 110 SE Watula Avenue.