Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Heart hospital has new suitor

Sharonville offers incentive

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

SHARONVILLE - A $60 million specialty heart hospital and medical complex would be built at the Interstate 275-Reed Hartman Highway exit here - and not Norwood - under an economic incentive deal being offered to the Ohio Heart Health Center.

Sharonville City Council acted quickly Tuesday to authorize a $2.7 million grant for land acquisition and tax abatements to the Tristate's biggest group of heart specialists. They had been considering a site near the Norwood Lateral earlier this month.

"We were in the top two of the running for it in May, and they left us to explore Norwood. Now they've come back to us," said Mayor Virgil Lovitt II. Elements of the financial package first were discussed with hospital representatives in May, he said.

The Ohio Heart and Vascular Hospital would be built on 18 undeveloped acres near Dr. Timothy Kremchek's Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Center along I-275.

The city's offer said the hospital would employ 425 people. It would also construct about 80,000 square feet of "peripheral medical facilities." The city offered a 10-year tax abatement.

Two weeks ago, Norwood City Council approved a rezoning needed for construction of the hospital on vacant land west of Montgomery Road and north of the lateral.

Norwood has not completed details of a package of incentives to be offered for the hospital, said Mayor Victor Schneider.

"I'd be extremely disappointed if the heart hospital went anywhere but Norwood," Schneider said Tuesday.

Days after the Norwood rezoning, the hospital group contacted Sharonville and asked if the May deal was still available, Lovitt said.

The hospital would include 24-hour emergency services, operating rooms, 60 intensive-care beds for people to recover from open-heart surgery and other procedures, a helipad and labs for angioplasty services, the Enquirer reported in August.

It is a joint venture of the Ohio Health Center and Deaconess Associations Inc., the parent company of Deaconess Hospital.


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