What to Watch: Munson Construction

Munson Medical Center has several facilities plans that are slated to progress further this year, including a multi-phase project for a new seven-story family birth and children’s center on its main Traverse City campus.

The project has two permits and a separate resolution in hand from the city and is proceeding, as Munson and others watch for further developments in the implementation of Proposal 3, approved by voters last fall. The Traverse City charter amendment’s passage raised numerous questions on process and details involving its now-required voter approval for proposed buildings over 60 feet tall. Munson’s proposed center is 110 feet tall and will need additional permits beyond those already approved.

As of a mid-December story deadline, the city was moving forward to draft implementation details. Munson is in close contact with the city to ensure that it goes through the correct process for project approvals, said Steve Tongue, vice president of facilities for Munson Healthcare.

“We want to follow the rules, and we want to make sure each step of the way we are doing that,” he said. “We’re obviously interested in seeing, when the city finalizes its process for Prop 3….how project approvals will be affected by the implementation” of Proposal 3.

He said Munson plans to be among stakeholders to provide input to the city as it moves ahead with shaping Prop 3 details.

The new center is part of a six-year development that begins with a new parking deck. Construction on that approximately $11 million, three-story structure could begin this summer, Tongue said. The deck will be built on an existing surface lot, Parking Lot A, and will have 800 spaces compared with about 350 in the current lot.

Another element of the project is to relocate a short section of Sixth Street about 200 feet to the north. That step will precede construction of the new center, which will join maternity, neonatal care and pediatrics units, add three operating rooms, and include four floors of patient rooms with private beds. A construction date for the center is yet to be determined.

This year is scheduled to bring to fruition another Munson project – an approximately $9 million renovation to construct new inpatient behavioral and oncology units at the hospital. Tongue said that project is targeted for completion in November.

Munson is also looking at investment in outpatient facilities, including its Munson Community Health Center on Munson Avenue. Tongue said Munson wants to make the center “more user-friendly” for patients and improve its outpatient services there. Design work is underway and plans call for renovations to begin this year.

Read what else the TCBN thinks will make news in 2017 in the January print issue, now on newsstands around town.