Friday, September 26, 2008

Baylor, BremnerDuke Plan $350M Cancer-Care Site


DALLAS-Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and BremnerDuke, the healthcare development division of Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp., will undertake a $350-million expansion of the main campus to create the first dedicated cancer hospital in North Texas and the largest outpatient cancer center in the state.
The project, which breaks ground before the year ends, has been in planning and design stages for one year, according to Ed Bittner, BremnerDuke's senior vice president of its South region. He tells GlobeSt.com that BremnerDuke will develop and own the 450,000-sf outpatient center, with Baylor leasing "a good portion" of the space. The nine-story crescent-shaped building will go up on a five-acre tract, now a surface parking lot at the corner of Hall and Worth streets.

BremnerDuke's building will be connected via a skywalk across Worth Street to the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, marking its 32nd year will be expanded by 120 beds to create the largest hospital of its type in North Texas. Chicago-based Perkins+Will's Dallas team designed both components. Medco Construction of Dallas, a Baylor-affiliated general contractor, will build both structures. BremnerDuke's team, being led by Bittner, includes Richard Couturier, John Huff and Mark Beach, vice presidents of development, leasing and construction, respectively.
Bittner says the leasing team has other top-name tenants lined up for the class A space, with services and research facilities to be disclosed down the road. "It's going to be a world-class cancer-care center," he stresses. "It's been a very long planning process."
The Baylor timeline calls for the outpatient center to open in 2011. The cancer hospital will break ground in 2010, with completion penciled for 2013.

"When completed in 2013, it will be our goal to be a nationally and internationally renowned cancer-care destination, building on Baylor Dallas' commitment to providing advanced cancer treatments and leading the charge of improvement in cancer care through research," Joel T. Allison, president of Dallas-based Baylor Health Care System, says in a press release.

The outpatient center will include physicians' offices, radiation, chemotherapy, pain management and complementary medicine like massage therapy and support groups. "We're entering a new era in cancer care at Baylor Dallas," Dr. Marvin Stone, chief of oncology for the healthcare system and director of the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center. "We've made enormous progress during the past 32 years, but now we're ready to rise to the next level, paralleling the striking advancements we've seen in the field."

Bittner stresses the expansion is "a highly patient-focused design." The new facility will provide space for initiatives like targeted therapy, which allows physicians to analyze a patient's genes to determine the best type of treatment. Other cancer-care initiatives will include research focused on science breakthroughs that directly affect patients and expanded clinical trial participation. Currently, Baylor oversees 150 trial studies.

Baylor Dallas is a 1,002-bed not-for-profit academic hospital and Level I trauma center. The $350-million expansion would put Baylor Dallas on a more even par with the internationally renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"We feel a great responsibility to offer the best cancer care in the country," says John B. McWhorter, the hospital's president and senior vice president at Baylor Health Care System. "We want people to be cared for in a compassionate manner. And we want to continue to be the destination center for cancer care for citizens of North Texas."