LA VERNE, CA - Escrow is about to close on the former Marshalls building, with plans to convert it into a medical center offering outpatient services, officials announced this week.
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center will operate the facility, similar to satellite offices it has in Claremont and Chino Hills. A grand opening is expected next year.
StoneCreek Co. President Clayton Corwin said his Rancho Santa Margarita firm will develop and own the new center in the old Marshalls store in the shopping center at the northeast corner of Fruit Street and Foothill Boulevard.
StoneCreek's $6 million project also includes substantial upgrades in the shopping center's existing infrastructure and aesthetics.
Corwin said the local health center will offer urgent care, physical therapy, an outpatient clinic and scanning services — including mammograms, X-ray, MRI, CT scan and other radiology services — at the renovated 28,234-square-foot facility.
The La Verne facility will not have a sleep center or hospital-stay surgeries, but its physicians will do one-day surgeries requiring no overnight stay, officials said.
Hal Fredericksen, La Verne's community development director, said the city is elated about the 60 new jobs the center will bring to town, the convenience factor for residents, spurred economic activity and a reduction in the vacancy rate within the area.
The Foothill Boulevard corridor along one of the city's busiest thoroughfares is designed to be a showcase street and beehive of activity for businesses there, Fredericksen added.
The building has been vacant since Marshalls moved out and relocated to the south side of Foothill in the Towne Center South five years ago, Fredericksen said.
"Customer traffic was reduced when Marshalls moved out, but this new medical facility will have many more people coming to the shopping center," he said, adding officials hope visitors to the medical facility will also stop to eat and shop.
Although existing establishments may see a bump in sales tax generated from increased traffic, Fredericksen said a city-commissioned fiscal analysis showed the health center itself will not bring in new sales taxes. So, the Planning Commission required StoneCreek to pay a sales tax in-lieu fee of $15,000 for 14 years, starting one year after initial occupancy and levied annually.
The La Verne center is the latest venture in Pomona Valley Hospital's strategic plan dating back to 2005, said Chris Aldworth, the hospital's vice president of planning.
"We've just been looking for the right location, one that was large enough to support what we wanted to do in La Verne," Aldworth said.
Creating community centers away from the hospital's main facilities in Pomona makes perfect sense, Aldworth said, because "Our patients don't stay in one place or town. We want services in the community to be more convenient for our patients. Building in communities allows us to deliver quality care and not encounter high construction costs associated with a comprehensive hospital."
The Claremont community health center, located at 1601 Monte Vista Ave., was the first of the hospital's satellites developed, Aldworth said. Services there include family medicine, urgent care, radiology, adult and pediatric physical therapy and a sleep disorder center.
StoneCreek, a real estate development firm, partnered with the hospital to develop the hospital's two community medical facilities in Chino Hills, at 2140 Grand Ave. and 3110 Chino Ave., he said.
Closing of escrow on the La Verne property is imminent, probably within a month, Corwin said. Then, permits will be pulled and modifications of the space will begin by fall, he added.
The StoneCreek president/chief executive officer said his company also will give the shopping center a "major facelift by renovating 65,000 square feet of existing business exteriors, enhancing signage and visibility, adding landscaping and modernizing the center's stucco."
Fredericksen said the planning staff and commission hosted a neighborhood workshop Nov. 17, 2015, to receive public input. No public protest or opposition was given. The commission approved the project in February.