Lawrence Memorial Hospital has halted plans to build a $5.7 million medical office building after the hospital failed to secure a lease for an anchor tenant.
Hospital board members Wednesday morning agreed to put the project on hold after LMH president and chief executive officer Gene Meyer said negotiations with the Reed Medical Group to occupy one of the three floors had ended.
"The board has felt for quite awhile that we need to have an anchor tenant to really move forward," said Janice Early-Weas, director of community relations for the hospital.
The board originally agreed in April to build the medical office building, which would have been located on the southeast corner of the hospital. A preliminary agreement had been reached with the Reed Medical Group, including a plan for the hospital to purchase Reed's current office building at 404 Maine.
But Reed never had finalized the deal with the hospital, and Meyer said Wednesday that Reed decided now was not the time to undertake a major financial commitment. Meyer said Reed officials had expressed concern that medical reimbursement rates for doctors may change significantly in 2008.
Construction work never began on the medical office building. Early-Weas said the hospital would keep the proposed construction site open to allow the project to be built in the future, if a tenant can be found.
Halting the medical office building project does not alter the hospital's larger $50 million expansion project. Work continues to build a new emergency department, maternity suites, a new intensive care unit and a new surgical area.