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Monday, November 17, 2008

University Healthcare at Daybreak

Kennecott Land released a statement today about a new medical care facility that will be built right here in Daybreak. While this facility is not as massive as the hospitals located near the University of Utah or in Murray, the statement indicates that the facility will only be the first phase of a medical “campus” to be built in the coming years as Daybreak is built to completion.

This first phase will feature a 150,000 square ft. building that will be situated on about 10 to 15 acres. To get a perspective of the size of this first facility, the Rio Tinto Corporate Center that presently stands next to Oquirrh Lake is 175,000 square ft. So it will be a little smaller, but not much. Within this space the University plans to incorporate primary and specialty care along with radiology. They will also have a pharmacy and vision care center there as well. Not a bad start to what will be a regional medical center.

Future plans include an expansion of the campus that will take up to 50 acres to be situated near TRAX and the Mountain View Corridor. This future medical campus will include a full-service hospital, surgery and imaging center and an AIRMED base. From my perspective this facility and future campus will be a major boost to Kennecott Land’s Daybreak plans. Having quality medical care nearby is an attractive proposition to the massive demographic wave of baby boomers. These are people who will need medical care close at hand and will move to a neighborhood like Daybreak to be near it. Hundreds of workers will be employed and will be spending their lunch breaks at nearby cafes and might decide that it would be nice to be able to walk to work. While many of the workers will be support staff, other employees will include doctors, nurses, technicians and managers. Professionals that will seek a nice neighborhood nearby to live in.

All of these benefits along with the impact it will have on the local economy and tax base has convinced me that this move is a true stroke of genius by Kennecott Land. However, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, this medical facility will need to be integrated into the community seamlessly. This can be accomplished with good planning and design of which Kennecott Land has certainly demonstrated so far with Daybreak. Hopefully this trend will continue. However, I can’t help but notice a peculiar yet increasingly common sequence of events in this case. First Kennecott donates a mass of money to support the new Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah and now the University plans its new regional care facility to be in Daybreak. Of course we have seen this with many other capital projects in which Rio Tinto has an interest. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.

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