Permits have been filed and ground has been broken at facility on Providence Drive

A new medical clinic is one step closer to becoming a reality in Newberg.GARY ALLEN - An excavator breaks ground Friday afternoon  for the new Oregon Clinic being constructed just south of Providence Newberg Medical Center.

Permits have been filed with the city by the Gastroenterology South Division of The Oregon Clinic and ground has been broken at its location in northeast Newberg. The new clinic will be used as an ambulatory surgery center/clinic (ASC).

Construction will commence on a three-mile plot of land located south of the Providence Newberg Medical Center, west of Providence Drive and Chehalem Glenn Golf Course and north of Friendsview Retirement Community's Springbrook Meadows complex.

The $7.5 million project will include a 17,200 square foot medical office building with 9,000 square feet of space to expand in to.

Technically, the building will be owned by the 16 physicians of the Gastroenterology South Division of The Oregon Clinic. Gastroenterology specialists have already been operating part-time out of a small office at Providence Newberg Medical Center; the new space will allow the doctors to see more patients, cut down long wait times and better offer a needed service to Newberg and the region, according to Dr. Brian Applebaum, a physician with the practice.RENDERING COURTESY OF OREGON CLINIC - A rendering of the new Oregon Clinic facility depicts what the ambulatory surgery center in Newberg will look like.

"There's a need for our field and the wait times in our existing space are three months right now because we don't have the physical space," he said. "We have the providers; we don't have a place to basically put those providers to see the patients who are already in need."

The Newberg Oregon Clinic has seen its' share of setbacks over the years because of the difficulty in locating the right land for a new building.

"The challenge has been that the properties that we've been able to find that were available ended up having problems," Applebaum said.

The building was first proposed in an area located southeast of Providence Drive, between the medical center and the golf course. This would have placed the clinic in the path of the second phase of the Newberg-Dundee bypass, threatening future right-of-way purchases by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Ironically, that development proposal spurred the Yamhill County Parkway Committee, a longtime bypass advocacy group, to approach ODOT about allocating $10.5 million to buy the land for right-of-way sooner rather than later. At that point the clinic proposal appeared to have stalled as the involved parties expressed uncertainty that other land in the vicinity would be available and workable for the project.

Applebaum noted that he and others planning the new clinic spent more than six months looking into that particular spot until the second phase of the bypass route suddenly became an issue.

"Just by virtue of us looking into that property, that entire process got resurrected," he said.

In the meantime, the Werth family made an agreement with Friendsview Retirement Community for 10 acres of land south of the medical center. Friendsview is planning to build about 60 apartment and duplex units sometime in the near future. They reviewed both projects and decided that both projects can fit by dividing the parcel into two: seven acres to Friendsview and three for the Oregon clinic. As a result, representatives for the Oregon Clinic re-applied to the city.

The proposed design is for a two story building that will have both flat and pitched roofs with the structure similar to commercial buildings found in the Pacific Northwest. The ASC will be primarily a brick structure with metal panels, wood and glass.

The development will include 126 parking spaces and six handicapped parking spaces. Site landscaping is proposed to be of a natural northwest species. Landscapes will be natural in character with new trees to line Providence Drive, a few in the parking area and around the building. Sidewalks are included in the plan along Providence Drive and in the future on the south side of the property.

The first phase of the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is forecasted to create roughly 60 to 100 more jobs.

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