Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta filed June 25 a certificate of need (CON) application for additional beds at its planned 70-acre and $1.5 billion hospital at the I-85 and North Druid Hills Road interchange in Brookhaven.

This is the most expensive hospital construction plan in the state’s CON program, according to experts.

The campus will be anchored by the new $1.3 billion hospital with 446 beds in two patient towers, an attached medical office building and a consolidated AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. The height of the hospital will be between 16-19 stories. A 19-story hotel was at the site and demolished in 2014 after CHOA bought it.

The Georgia Department of Community Health is expected to make a decision on the CON by the end of 2018, according to CHOA officials.

The new hospital will replace CHOA’s Egleston Hospital on Clifton Road near Emory University. Hospital officials say Egleston is running out of bed space and is landlocked in an area where they say traffic is worse than the traffic at North Druid Hills and I-85 that spills onto arterial streets and into residential areas.

When completed, the North Druid Hills campus will ultimately include the relocated hospital, support staff buildings, the Center for Advanced Pediatrics and more than 20 acres of green space and miles of walking trails and paths on and around the site. The paths within the medical complex will only be available for patients and staff.

Children’s has also promised the city of Brookhaven to invest in the surrounding area by investing more than $40 million in traffic and infrastructure improvements.

What the CON is seeking, according to a press release:

  • The planned hospital will include two patient bed towers, which include the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, neo-natal intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, and cardiac intensive care units.
  • The patient towers, connected via a shared lobby, rise above five floors of diagnostic and treatment space, including surgical suits, cardiovascular suites, emergency department, interventional radiology and other critical services necessary for the hospital. The application anticipates Children’s North Druid Hills hospital offering all the services offered at Egleston.
  • A variety of amenities and features requested by patient families, including larger rooms with sleep areas, windows with “healing views” and plentiful access to natural light are planned. The larger and standardized patient rooms – also in line with modern medical standards – allow more technology at the patient’s bedside, enable families to be more involved in their child’s care, and increase flexibility to support different levels of patient needs.
  • Total square footage will be more than 1.8 million square feet, including the hospital, attached clinic and office building, and central utility plant.
  • A total cost of $1.5 billion is noted, which includes the cost of the hospital as well as the attached clinic and office building, central utility plant, hospital- and campus-related infrastructure and associated contingencies. The cost of the hospital itself remains $1.3 billion

CHOA’s Center for Advanced Pediatrics, also on the North Druid Hills campus, is scheduled to open next month, and two support buildings are currently under construction. Completion of the support buildings in 2020 will allow Children’s employees to vacate current offices on the site of the planned hospital, allowing construction to begin. The North Druid Hills hospital is slated to open in 2025.

Additional information and application details can be found at www.choa.org/CON.

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