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Valley Children’s specialty care center planned in north Modesto

Valley Childrens Hospital of Madera has plans for a Specialty Care Center on Pelandale Avenue in Modesto, Calif., east of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. The first phase is for 36,000 square feet, growing to as much as 100,000 square feet in additional phases.
Valley Childrens Hospital of Madera has plans for a Specialty Care Center on Pelandale Avenue in Modesto, Calif., east of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center. The first phase is for 36,000 square feet, growing to as much as 100,000 square feet in additional phases. Valley Children’s Healthcare

Valley Children’s Hospital of Madera County has unveiled plans for a specialty care center on Pelandale Avenue in north Modesto.

Calling it a major investment in the patients and families it serves in Modesto, Valley Children’s said the first phase will encompass 36,000 square feet and offer outpatient services in 11 medical specialties, including pediatric cardiology, endocrinology, metabolic genetics, neurology and urology. The $25 million center could open in summer 2018.

Todd Suntrapak, chief executive officer of Valley Children’s, said a second phase could expand the total center to 62,000 square feet. The nonprofit health care network has an option on 2 more acres for possible expansion of the center to 100,000 square feet, the CEO said.

The total cost at build-out could approach $60 million.

“This is a permanent investment in the county of Stanislaus and city of Modesto and for the families that live there,” Suntrapak said. The Modesto center is part of a plan to expand the Valley Children’s 11-county network so families don’t have to travel more than 30 miles to a care center, he said.

The specialty care center, serving children who suffer from medical issues, would be on the north side of Pelandale, east of the Save Mart supermarket in the commercial center anchored by Costco and Lowe’s.

The Modesto City Council will consider approving a 14-acre annexation Tuesday, including 6 acres that Costa Limited Partners sold to Valley Children’s Medical Group on Oct. 7.

Cindy Birdsill, director of community and economic development, said the city has not reviewed the layout or any traffic issues, because plans have not been submitted to the city. Tuesday’s action would annex the property to a community facilities district for collecting assessments for infrastructure.

According to an artist’s rendering, the specialty center will have a large, glass-enclosed lobby with the hospital’s giraffe logo. Suntrapak said the Starizon Studio was hired to design interiors to create a pleasant environment for young patients.

Valley Children’s has specialists that see patients at 1524 McHenry Ave. one or two days a week. But the new center will support the five-days-a-week practices of pediatric specialists. It will have a full range of diagnostic, imaging, lab and therapy facilities.

Suntrapak said he does not know if or when the McHenry Avenue offices would close. The McHenry site had 9,656 patient visits in the past year and that number was expected to grow to 13,165 visits in three years.

Valley Children’s didn’t have projections Monday for annual patient visits, the number of employees or physicians at the new center. The health network also has specialty care centers, satellite neonatal intensive care units or partnerships with facilities in Turlock, Merced, Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo.

Property near Kaiser Permanente’s medical center on Dale Road was first considered for the Modesto specialty care center. The Pelandale location has access to Highway 99 and the new Pelandale-Highway 99 interchange.

Suntrapak said the Pelandale property was purchased from cash reserves, and reserves will pay for construction and other costs “so we are operating debt-free.”

Councilman Mani Grewal, whose district includes the site, said he won’t participate when the annexation is considered Tuesday, because he lives in the adjacent Fleur De Ville community. He said Modesto-area families should benefit from having a pediatric specialty care center close to home.

“It will provide jobs and there isn’t another facility like this from Madera to Oakland,” Grewal said.

The Modesto City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the basement chamber of Tenth Street Place, at 1010 10th St., Modesto.

Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321

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