VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - On Tuesday, the Venice City Council approved a zoning amendment that gave the okay to Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s (SMH) development plans for its new Venice hospital.
This is a 65-acre site at the intersection of Laurel and Pinebrook roads near I-75 that had originally been zoned for a shopping center.
The City Council unanimously approved SMH’s request to allow a hospital and related health care facilities to now be built on the site. Two uncontested public hearings and strong support from community and city leaders helped lead to the decision.
"This is a pivotal day for our health system and the community,” SMH-Venice President Sharon Roush said. “We are excited about the new hospital and the exceptional care it will bring to the residents of Venice and south county.”
The health system first broke ground on the hospital campus in April and collected permits to begin land clearing and deep foundation work.
The Planning Board approved SMH’s site and development plans that were pending approval of the zoning amendment on May 7th.
The construction is expected to take two and a half years with a total project cost of $437 million and the initial development covers 48 acres on the eastern side of the site.
This includes a five-story, 365,000 square-foot hospital, with 110 private rooms and a 28 bed emergency center.
In addition, the project also will include a two-story, 60,000 square-foot medical office building, related support structures and service area and an adjacent parking garage and surface parking lots.
The hospital will offer a full selection of medical and surgical care. The facility will be hurricane hardened with a seamless connection to SMH’s electronic medical records and information technology.
The campus is expected to create hundreds of jobs during construction, and it is expected that more than 500 employees will work at the facility when it opens.
Meetings are hosted periodically by SMH to share updates and they are asking for feedback from community residents and the public. There is also a neighborhood advisory council that meets often.
For more information on plans regarding the new hospital, visit SMH’s website.