LANSING – McLaren Greater Lansing plans to close two southern hospitals when it opens a $ 450 million facility in early 2022 near Michigan State University on the southeast side of Lansing.

The fate of the two older facilities has yet to be announced, although McLaren executives say they are following different paths. Community members have many questions about the future of closed hospital locations. This is what is known so far.

When will the hospitals close?

The existing facilities – the McLaren Greater Lansing hospital at 401 W. Greenlawn Ave. and 2727 S. Pennsylvania Ave. McLaren Orthopedic Hospital – will continue to work for nearly three years until the new, consolidated campus is opened to patients just east of US. 127.

"It's a kind of unique situation," said Casey Kandow, McLaren Greater Lansing's chief executive, referring to the challenge of marketing facilities that cannot be immediately evacuated. Nevertheless, he added: "We are really encouraged by the response so far."

McLaren has hired a national consulting firm to help find a buyer to reuse the buildings, Kandow said. He refused to name the company, but said that McLaren pleases both public and private buyers.

Can buildings be used for healthcare?

The most private interest comes from healthcare and bioinformatics companies, Kandow said.

"I think it's fair to say it's a healthcare campus, both," said Bob Trezise, ​​president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, about the older buildings in the hospital.

McLaren & # 39; s Pennsylvania Avenue orthopedic hospital covers 322,000 square feet.

The Greenlawn facility is more than twice as large at 712,000 square meters. Parts of that hospital, formerly known as the regional medical center Ingham, were built in 1930. The first buildings on the Pennsylvania Avenue campus were built in 1959.

LEAP, a regional economic development agency funded by area and local government companies, met with McLaren executives every other week on plans for hospital consolidation, Trezise said.

Trezise refers to "promising" leads, but refused to name the interested parties.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, who has met periodically with the health system top-scooper regarding the project, suggested that McLaren & # 39; s campuses could house laboratories or psychiatric facilities.

McLaren tried to seduce the state of Michigan to use the Greenlawn or Pennsylvania Avenue accommodation as a state-owned health facility.

However, the state is not interested in purchasing any of the properties, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin said Friday. Sutfin confirmed that state officials toured through McLaren property after the health system had extended several invitations.

Will the old hospitals be demolished?

The demolition of hospitals would be a & # 39; worst-case scenario & # 39; Kandow said.

McLaren's priority is to find a buyer to redevelop his hospital buildings, officials say. If that doesn't happen, local leaders say that green space would be preferable to a large, empty structure.

"It's clear that the neighbors don't want it to be a destroyed building," said Jeremy Garza, member of the 2nd Ward Council, who represents the area, including the Greenlawn and Pennsylvania Avenue amenities. "That's when you see the activities such as vandalism begin to happen."

The new consolidated facility will still be in Garza & # 39; s department, but on the eastern edge of the territory it represents.

"They are virtually in residential areas," said Garza of the Greenlawn and Pennsylvania Avenue hospitals. "We need something that fits the community."

The resident of South Lansing, Jason Wilkes, called the closure of the hospitals a & # 39; great concern & # 39 ;.

"Bottom line – it's a hugely unknown now," Wilkes said, although he added that he was impressed by McLaren's efforts for community reach.

Some residents are concerned about continuing to travel for health care, said Wilkes, who runs a neighborhood organization called Rejeuvenating South Lansing.

Schor, however, stated that the proximity of the new hospital with the US 127, an important highway, will be more convenient for a larger number of people.

The new hospital will be approximately 4 miles or 12 minutes 'drive from McLaren & Greenlawn's facility and close to 5.6 km or 8 minutes' drive from McLaren Orthopedic Hospital on Pennsylvania Avenue.

What is planned for the new hospital?

The consolidation plans will result in McLaren cutting through 149 hospital beds in Lansing once the new 240-bed facility is opened.

McLaren is currently licensed to have 389 beds between the two existing Lansing facilities, but the hospital usually uses only a fraction of those beds on a given day, Kandow said. McLaren sees about 160 hospital patients in Lansing an average day, according to the hospital's records.

Changing health care trends have prompted national hospitals to cut beds, Kandow said.

Industry analysts have pointed to factors such as attention to ambulatory care and prevention to keep people out of hospitals.

From 1975 to 2015, the number of hospital beds across the country decreased by almost 39%, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that 40-year period, the total number of hospitals shrunk by more than 22% as hospital chains were closed and consolidated.

McLaren expects to add around 80 employees when the new campus is opened, business representatives have said.

The crews started pouring concrete for the foundation of the new facility after breaking the ground in December 2018 this month.

McLaren bought land for the new hospital of the MSU Foundation. The MSU Foundation is a non-profit organization that commercializes the university's research.

More:

Putnam: Will Lansingwijk thrive or wilt when McLaren moves?

The new McLaren hospital is part of a boom in local healthcare investments

Please contact Sarah Lehr at (517) 377-1056 or slehr@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahGLehr.

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