Orlando health

Orlando Health, a not-for-profit health care organization and network of community-based hospitals, last week announced it has a contract to purchase approximately 80 acres of unincorporated land on the south side of Lakeland for a potential future medical campus.

Orlando Health officials said plans for the property, the first phase of which is not expected to be constructed for several years, are still under development, and that Orlando Health will be researching and obtaining community input to ensure the eventual Orlando Health Lakeland campus meets the needs of Lakeland and nearby communities in Polk County.

“We are excited about the opportunity to extend the Orlando Health network of care to Lakeland and Polk County. Serving Polk County has been a part of our long-term growth plan for years,” said Matt Taylor, Vice President of Asset Strategy with Orlando Health. “And with the area’s continuing growth, the need for the high- quality, outcomes-based approach of Orlando Health is clear.”

Edward Holloway, owner of the property, voiced his enthusiasm for Orlando Health.

“As sellers and owners of the Sanlan RV & Golf Resort, Inc., my wife Mary Ann and I welcome the Orlando Health Lakeland Health & Wellness Campus as a new neighbor and know they will be a major asset to Lakeland and the broader community.”

The land is immediately south of the Polk Parkway, on the east side of Lakeland Highlands Road.

Orlando Health has applied for annexation of the land by the city and for changes to the comprehensive land-use plan and zoning. Currently the land is vacant. While Orlando Health officials said they do not expect traffic associated with the project to significantly impact the area, a new traffic study will be part of the process.

Although proposed changes to the comprehensive plan for the area would allow construction of up to a 360-bed hospital along with medical office space, a small hotel, and limited supporting retail, Orlando Health officials stressed that this is part of a long-term, phased plan, of which the growth and timing will be based on the needs of the community.

“Our planning is in the very early stages,” said Taylor, noting Orlando Health’s extensive history of community involvement. “We intend to take our time and be very thoughtful. We will become involved in the community at different levels, including community meetings, civic groups and a public website. When we are ready to move forward, we want to ensure we are meeting the needs of the community, and that we deliver a high- quality place for health and wellness that the people of Lakeland and Polk County are proud of.”

In the Four Corners region, Orlando Health has a new facility just off State Road 429 in the Horizon West area of Orange County, Phase Two of which is under construction, as well as its Four Corners Emergency Room, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and U.S. 192. The company also has a facility planned for the Reunion Village area, just off Interstate 4 near ChampionsGate.