By TED CARTER
A pair of soon-to-be-vacant Baker Donelson buildings in Meadowbrook Office Park tops the list of candidates to become the new home for components of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Integrated Physician Practice division.
Medical center executives have been searching the past couple of years for new quarters for several services provided by the approximately 1,000 medical-care providers and their clinics. The 85,000 square feet at 4268 North I-55 Baker Donelson will be vacant at the end March has most all of the qualities UMMC seeks, spokesman Tom Fortner said in a recent interview.
Baker Donelson is scheduled to move into its new home at One Eastover Center in the District at Eastover at the end of next month, the firm says.
The medical center would occupy 72,000 square feet of the space the regional law firm leaves behind, Fortner said.
The Meadowbrook Office Park space Baker Donelson occupies in Northeast Jackson covers two buildings connected by a covered walkway.
“We do think the Baker Donelson building is an attractive option because of its location and quality of construction,” Fortner said.
UMMC essentially needs office space for university physicians, a group that includes employed faculty. “The provision for medical care is done under the umbrella of teaching health-profession students,” the spokesman said.
“For about two years we have been looking for space off campus to accommodate growth of some of our clinical programs,” he said.
Space that patients from outside the area can easily get to is a key requirement, according to Fortner. A building visible from a major highway is also important, he said.
The Meadowbrook Office Park buildings meet both requirements, Fortner noted.
Today, much of the space devoted to the Integrated Physician Practice is concentrated in a large building on the campus of the medical college. Several other clinics are off-site on Lakeland Drive, Grant’s Ferry and the Jackson Medical Mall.
“We’ve grown a lot over the last six to seven years,” Fortner said, emphasizing the need to relocate some of the clinics.
UMMC considers finding an existing building is the quicker way to do the relocations, he added.
Other buildings are under consideration as well, according to Fortner. “Nothing has been done,” he said. “We’re still in the evaluation phase.”
The estimated costs of building-out the space for the relocated clinics won’t be known until the new home is selected.
A final decision on the new space is up to the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees.
The leasing company for Meadowbrook Office Park, Ridgeland’s Kerioth Corp., did not return phone calls seeking comment.
(This story has been corrected to report that components of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Integrated Physician Practice division are slated for relocation. The earlier version reported the Integrated Physician Practice division was to be relocated.)
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