U pauses plans for Ambulatory Care Center

Rendering obtained from Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association.

Ashley Goetz

Rendering obtained from Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association.

The University of Minnesota has paused “all activity” on the Ambulatory Care Center due to the economic downturn. The project will be postponed until fall of 2009. The Center, which the University planned to break ground on as early as spring 2009, will be paused “until we have a better understanding of the financial environment,” according to a memo sent Monday to University leaders, faculty and boards at the Medical School and Fairview and University Physicians. The memo, obtained by the Daily, was written by Frank Cerra, senior vice president for health sciences; Mark Eutis, Fairview President and CEO; and Roby Thompson, University of Minnesota Physicians CEO. The center was a partnership between Fairview Hospital and University Physicians and was to be constructed on block 11 in Stadium Village. Block 12 is a University-owned contract parking lot surrounded by Fulton, Ontario, Essex and Erie streets southeast. Cerra said in the email that the center would have addressed “a series of interdependent ambulatory care needs” for the area. However, some local residents have shown resistence to University plans in the neighborhood. “Under the current economic conditions, we believe it is prudent to defer further planning and construction of the new Ambulatory Care Center on the University campus until such time access to capital becomes more available,” the memo said. “This decision does not change our joint commitment to build the Ambulatory Care Center on the University campus, but rather the timing of the project.” In September, the Daily reported plans to construct the center. To view the full text of the memo, click here.