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Providence Willamette Falls Hospital plans expansion in Oregon City

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Oregon City’s hospital is planning to expand into its adjacent neighborhood by razing several rental houses it has purchased to build a medical office building.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - The Willamette Falls Medical Center is planning a major expansion of its buildings in Oregon City.Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, which currently has 351,181 square feet of interior building space, is seeking to change a previously approved master plan to expand its campus across Division Street. The hospital proposes to add six adjacent properties to its master plan (approximately one acre) to make room for a 30,000 to 35,000-spare-foot medical office building and parking in proximity.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - The Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City hosts a farm stand each week during the summer to encourage healthy eating.Providence’s current master plan, as it was approved in 2012, will allow it to replace the one-story blue medical office building on the corner of 15th and Division streets with a two-story building. With construction expected to start this year, the building will house primary-care physicians and out-patient physical therapy, among other services.

If the new master plan is approved, Providence would reduce its total new development approved in the 2012 Master Plan by 15,000 square feet. Instead of adding 104,000 square feet, the hospital would add 89,000 square feet for a total buildout of 440,181 square feet instead of 455,181 square feet.

Russ Reinhard, CEO of Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, made the case for approving the zoning change in a Dec. 28 letter sent to McLoughlin neighbors.

“As Portland becomes focused on high-density residential living, it’s no surprise that Oregon City and Clackamas County are growing very quickly,” he wrote. “To continue to provide our community with needed services — from maternity to family-practice physicians; diagnostic services such as mammography, CT and MRI; and clinicians who are experts in cancer, stroke and psychiatric care — we have been thoughtfully expanding services and planning our own growth.”

Oregon City staff did not provide proper notice of Providence’s application to Metro or DLCD, so the next hearing is scheduled before City Commission on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to allow the application to be sent to all required parties with enough time before the hearing. A second hearing is expected to follow before final approval of the plan.