College Station Working On Establishing Medical District

By  | 

Big changes are in the works for College Station in how it gets its medical care.

The College Station Medical Center and the new Scott & White Hospital are areas developers hope will soon make up a medical district landscape along Rock Prairie Road and Highway 6 in College Station.

The two hospitals could serve as the anchor for significant new development in the coming years.

News 3 has been looking into the proposed plan, which could bring hundreds to even thousands of new jobs in the coming decades, and more than just hospitals and clinics.

City planners tell News 3 it would be a place like nothing else we've seen before in the Brazos Valley, if it gets approved by the College Station City Council.

The Medical District would mean more quality care here at home and even a new way of living.

Peggy Shafer has called College Station home for 50 years and spends a lot of time taking care of her health along Rock Prairie Road.

We told her about the proposed Medical District while she was waiting for a friend in surgery at the Med.

"It's an interesting thought to have it be a one stop one shop I think you described it that way earlier when we were visiting. I like the idea of it being more than just hospitals," said Shafer.

It's a large section we're talking about too.

The Medical District would run along Rock Prairie Road near Highway 6, with a majority of it being east of the highway and running south nearly to William D. Fitch Parkway.

Bob Cowell is College Station's Planning and Development Services Director and says medical clinics, lofts, retail and restaurants are all part of the design, but it would cost about $58 million to bring new infrastructure including roads and sewers to spur development.

The city would pay for it through a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone or TIRZ, which comes from property values going up.

"As new value is added as new development takes place because of the investments that the public has made in sewer and road and those types of things, that new value generates new tax revenue and that tax revenue the new revenue is captured and put back in to the district, into the TIRZ district," explained Cowell.

New jobs are also part of the plan beyond just medicine.

"We think that there are certainly jobs that are going to number in the hundreds if not thousands in the health care side of things which will be the high quality high paying jobs that we would want in the area. And then of course if it's successful we're talking about jobs associated with retail activities and hospitality activities and those type of things as well that would come into the area," Cowell added.

Shafer likes the plan but still worries about the cost and how the city would relieve traffic here.

"It makes sense that we are finding facilities and help here without having to go to Houston or Dallas so that's a good thing I think," said Peggy Shafer.

The city also tells us property owners in the area would have oversight managing the district and private developers could also pay some of the infrastructure costs.

It would still be another three to five years before major development comes as work begins to widen the Rock Prairie Road Bridge at Highway 6 next winter.

The College Station City Council will be briefed on the plan and decide whether to proceed at their meeting on Thursday, October 11th.