Medical Venture Properties is planning to start construction this spring on a $40 million project that will be a medical center along with an accompanying boutique hotel and restaurant.The New Garden Medical Centre broke ground Feb. 7. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009.

The 222,000-square-foot destination medical facility at Line and Newark roads will be comprised of an 86,060-square-foot ambulatory surgery building with an imaging center and a 94,746-square-foot medical office building.

Plans for the 17.8-acre property include a boutique hotel with guest parking. A restaurant will be incorporated within the hotel facility, providing services to hotel guests and visitors.

The property will also have 156 lower-level parking spaces and 470 surface parking spaces.

The New Garden project is modeled on the destination medical center concept, where real estate development is based on a consumer or retail-driven model of health care delivery, conceived by Marcie R. Shrom.

"It's a home run for doctors," Shrom said. "Same-day procedures, all in one space, one spot."

Shrom said she has worked to reinvent the traditional paradigm of hospital-driven health care.

Hospitals typically provide emergency care, nursing care and extended care, for example, while also doing a large number of outpatient procedures, Shrom explained.

Her "retail" model focuses on outpatient procedures and doctor care. By so doing, it provides physicians with autonomy in their practices and efficiency in operating, she said. It also translates into financial benefits of equity participation and revenue streams from ancillary services such as laboratory services.

The New Garden project follows Shrom's development of YorkTowne Medical Centre in York, a three-level destination medical facility that Shrom undertook with different partners.

Shrom's partner in Medical Venture Properties, the developer of the New Garden project, is Perry A. Eagle, an orthopedic surgeon since 1973.

New Garden is essentially one building divided into two uses with different exterior architecture for either side. The three-story building's users share a central stairwell. Each wing will have dedicated entrances with drive-up canopies covering the doorways.

The medical center will eventually share its entrance with the 60 to 70-room hotel. Shrom said she is in negotiations with a national hotel chain to run that end of the operation. She emphasized the hotel will be a "boutique," not a massive complex.

New Garden was attractive to Shrom because of its demographics.

Going out from Philadelphia in a 60-mile circle, Shrom said she looked for existing hospitals to make sure she would have an adequate pool of physicians with enough clinical diversity to draw from. At the same time, she was counting rooftops. What she found in New Garden was "the fastest growing township in Pennsylvania," she said.

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