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Plans for care center on hold
Children’s Healthcare bought site in summer
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This area behind The Avenue Forsyth along Ronald Reagan Boulevard may eventually be home to a medical facility. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)
There’s no telling how long a 28-acre parcel near The Avenue Forsyth may sit vacant.

Officials with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said the uncertain economy has put on hold the hospital’s plan to develop an immediate care center on the site, which it bought for about $17.6 million in June.

Linda Cole, vice president of trauma and emergency services for the nonprofit pediatric health care system, said research showed a need for the center, including physician offices and diagnostics.

“This is our plan today, and it could change,” she said. “But that’s what it’s looking like right now.”

Still, Children’s Healthcare has no immediate intention to file for a certificate of need with the state, a process required for all health systems seeking to add new medical services.

The site was originally slated to be part of the second phase of The Avenue, a large outdoor mall off Peachtree Parkway and near Ga. 400 at Exit 13. Children’s Healthcare acquired it with the future in mind.

“We bought enough land that we could go to a full hospital,” Cole said. “The plan would be as the community continues to grow and the need continues to grow, to grow with the community.”

The center could treat lower acuity emergencies, such as earaches, dehydration and urinary tract infections. For broken bones, the center could also handle X-rays and splints.

“We can’t do definitive care, but we can give you the care you need immediately,” Cole said.

She declined to give a timeline for the facility, noting that “there are so many variables out there now.”

“It’s not like it’s on the back burner,” she said. “It’s something that we actively continue to evaluate.

“I’m anxious and I think the community is anxious to have a closer presence.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at jennifersami@forsythnews.com