Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Medical District progress

I was driving around with my camera taking pictures of mixed-use developments under progress across the metro, which is a dauntingly huge task that I can only hope to have finished by the time I leave to go back up to Calgary, but as I was coming the metro, I came across the Medical District and realized that these major developments in this inner city district deserve some attention. Tonight I will be posting these, hot off my phone camera, because it is so much easier to take pictures of development in a small district, than to track major mixed-use development in a metro as sprawled as OKC. I haven't even gotten a fifth of those pics yet, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on these.

I think it suffices well enough to say that the Medical District is coming along very well. I wish I could have taken a few pictures of the towers and hospital complexes already in this area, including some really amazing contemporary architecture I just kept driving past simply because it's already been completed for at least 5 years (the OU Physician's Bldg, namely). And starting closest to I-235:

Oklahoma Blood Institute HQ on NE 8th Street, between Lincoln and I-235, 3 story frame is going up. No renderings online, but I believe it will just be a plain white 3-story office bldg.

This is something on NE 10th, across Phillips from the OU Cancer Institute..and I have no idea what it is, but the rendering shows a fairly low-rise structure.

OU College of Allied Health on Stonewall Avenue, nearly complete. I think it turned out beautifully.

The OU Cancer Research Institute on NE 10th Street, the structure went up really fast, but the annex is still yet to go, and then comes the tedious stuff.

Dean McGee Eye Institute on Lincoln Blvd, pretty close to completion.

OU Children's Hospital on NE 13th Street, as you can see nearly finished, but the lobby and parking lot are still to be finished.

OMRF Research Tower on NE 15th, broken ground, sign in the ground on NE 13th.

I think it's really impressive all of the construction going on here in the Medical District, when you consider how it mostly goes unnoticed and without any praise. We're all far too busy bickering and making accusations over MAPS 3 and Core to Shore to take notice of what's going on northeast of the core. I think that's detrimental to our city's direction, though. We're really lucky to have this burgeoning medical district located so close to downtown, instead of miles away like most cities that have similar medical districts, or bigger (like Houston). The truth is that not very many cities have entire medical districts complete with some of the most advanced hospitals in the world, and considering that this is what is being built without anyone taking notice here in OKC, is just truly incredible to me.

Oh and I just realized I left out the Medical District Embassy Suites (an 8-story full-service hotel) being built at Phillips and 8th. I didn't notice much work being done on it from 10th or it would have caught my eye, but I do recall last year that the site was surrounded by a construction fence.


derekmarc said...

Cool stuff going on there. And you're right, it's very close to downtown OKC. I measured the distance between downtown OKC and the medical district you profiled. It's the same distance as downtown SA to the Pearl District. How you ever seen San Antonio's Medical Center? The second largest medical center in Texas. It's 13 miles from downtown on the northwest side.

There's actually three Medical Centers in SA. South Texas Medical Center (pictured above) has four cranes now with two more slated to come online soon, SAMMC (pronounced SAM-C, abbr. for San Antonio Military Medical Center)two cranes there. And lastly the Stone Oak Medical Center which is fairly new and just finished a new hospital.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

Well, the Oklahoma Medical District I profiled does not include OKC's two largest medical centers (Baptist and Mercy), but it does include the OU Med Center, OU's research facilities, the state health dept, the VA, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, PHF Research Park, various other research/hospital's the closest thing we have to a major concentration of medical facilities.

Obviously having this in the heart of downtown is an advantage a lot of people don't think about very often. 13 miles northwest of downtown is just too far to have a major employer, but I suppose that would be OKC's Memorial Rd corridor for you. I'd say the South Texas Medical Center is definitely comparable to the Medical District, the only difference is this is in an urban setting about 1 mile NE of downtown, and 1 mile S of the State Capitol Complex.

derekmarc said...

What are the stats on the OU Med Center?

derekmarc said...

STMC is a big employer but SA is funny like that, as most of our big employer centers are far from downtown.

Stone Oak, Westover Hills, Medical Center, etc.

I would have guessed the Memorial Rd corridor as being 9 or 10 miles from downtown okc.

derekmarc said...

I actually just meaured the distance and the ST Medical Center is 8 miles from downtown. I got the Medical Center and Westover Hills confused. Westover Hills is 13 miles from downtown.

derekmarc said...

I also forgot the downtown has three hospitals plus smaller medical facilities attached. Though one of the hospitals downtown is adding on, building a new hospital addition (rendering below) plus some other stuff. And another hospital is thinking of building a new hospital downtown altogether.


Are we both using the same definition for Medical Center? An area that is comprised of multiple hospitals and medical facilities?

I know that term has different meanings from region to region.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

I'm not sure about the OU Medical Center. I've read it was the largest single-employer medical center in the state, but I'm sure that Baptist and Mercy have more patients.

I think we are using a different definition for medical centers, because by my count there are many, many more than just 3 in OKC, and San Antonio has almost a million on OKC, granted it is not a State Capitol..

Perhaps part of the reason San Antonio doesn't have as many medical centers is that the OKC metro is more comprised of central city, and then major suburbs..very few unincorporated areas, and each main suburb has its own medical center it seems.

marc said...

no, I mean, my definition of medical center is multiple different hospitals and facilities. Like the Mercy Medical Center seems to be just one hospital. SA has tons of "one" hospital medical centers but down here a Medical Center is a large area with many many medical facilities including multiple hospitals of all kinds.

Walker, Downtown Ranger said...

Well Mercy has Mercy Hospital, which is full-service, and probably the largest single hospital in the metro, albeit so far north, plus the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, the Mercy NeuroScience Institute, plus the ProCure Proton Therapy Center was just finished across the freeway..

There's also a cluster of hospitals and stuff around the Baptist Medical Center and a few smaller clusters here and there, but neither Baptist nor Mercy are very comparable to the Medical District.

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