One of the largest mixed-use developments in the Lowcountry will soon become home to a medical complex to be built by the largest multispecialty physicians group in the state of South Carolina. Construction was scheduled to begin in April on the first of six buildings that will make up a large medical campus in the Nexton development in the Summerville area.
In February, Palmetto Primary Care Physicians broke ground on the four-story, 100,000-square-foot Class A medical office building, signaling the start of a $135-million project.
Partners for the project are Equity Construction Solutions; Capital Bank; Hammes Partners; and the developer, WestRock Land and Development. Palmetto Primary Care Physicians’ local business banking partner is United Community Bank.
Among those on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony were Equity Construction Solutions CEO Steven Wathen and President Andy Quinn; WestRock Land and Development President Ken Seeger; Palmetto Primary Care Physicians Chief Executive Officer Terry Cunningham; PPCP President Dr. Brantley Arnau; and Summerville Mayor Wiley Johnson.
Nexton is located 25 miles from historic Charleston and just five miles from downtown Summerville, where Interstate 26 and Highway 17A meet. Over the next 25 years, the community, which sits on 4,500 acres, is expected to grow to include more than 10,000 homes and apartments, 6 million square feet of commercial space, 2,000 acres of parks and natural areas and more than 50 miles of trails. Nexton’s commercial area is already home to the corporate offices of WestRock and Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and to the headquarters of the South Carolina Research Authority. In addition, Nexton is South Carolina’s first gigabit community. Residents and those who have their offices there have access to internet speeds of one gigabit per second or faster.
“PPCP’s medical campus will bring first-rate health care services to the heart of Nexton’s vibrant commercial district and is within walking distance for the residents of Del Webb, Brighton Park Village and The Parks,” Seeger commented.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians was the first practice in South Carolina and one of the first in the United States to establish a successful Patient Centered Medical Home program. In 2000, it also was among the first groups to implement an electronic medical records system.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians’ first building in the medical complex is expected to cost $32 million and to be ready for occupancy in October 2018. According to Cunningham, an urgent care facility, a diagnostic center, a lab and a café will be on the first floor. The second story will be dedicated to primary care, while the third and fourth floors will be offices for a wide range of specialty care, including internal medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, urology, physical therapy and clinical research, Cunningham pointed out.
“We have been a staple in the community for 20 years, and we plan to serve our patients for many years to come by continuing to offer services throughout our physicians’ offices, urgent care centers and, soon, at our PPCP medical campus,” Cunningham said, adding that the new building should be responsible for producing around 350 jobs, 75 percent of them new jobs.
“Today’s groundbreaking proves that Palmetto Primary Care Physicians is committed to accommodating the needs of our dynamic and growing communities,” Dr. Arnau added at the February 22 groundbreaking ceremony. “Instead of recreating the wheel, as an independent physicians group, our vision is to tap into our resources and partner with affiliates to bring Lowcountry residents increased access to quality health care in a centralized location at a lower cost.”
The architects for the project are Davis Wince, Ltd. of Powell, Ohio and Denver, and Seamon Whiteside, which has offices in Mount Pleasant, Summerville and Greenville. The construction work will be handled by Equity Construction Solutions.
Cunningham said Palmetto Primary Care Physicians hopes to build a total of six buildings in the medical complex over the next three to five years. He pointed out that the campus probably will include another office building, as well as assisted living and hospice facilities.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians was formed in 1996 when three family medicine clinics joined forces “for the purpose of building an independent, patient-centric and physician-driven medical group.” PPCP is now the largest multispecialty physicians group in the state. It includes more than 75 clinical providers in areas including primary care, neurology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, imaging and diagnostics. PPCP employs more than 500 clinical and non-clinical staff in 27 physicians’ offices, serving over 250,000 patients in five counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Hampton.
“Today, the group provides patient-centered services through a state-of-the-art urgent care clinic, diagnostic and imaging center, in-house lab and various quality outcome-based initiatives,” according to a PPCP spokesperson. “PPCP is proud to be integrated in the communities we serve by participating in community events, sponsorships and various health initiatives throughout the year.”