Developer breaks ground on new medical facility

By Shannon Jenkins

Framework already stands on the site for a future medical complex in Stockbridge, offering a vision of what's to come during Monday's groundbreaking.

By September, two of three buildings comprising the SouthCrest Medical Plaza are expected to be completed and available for occupancy, according to Atlanta-based developer Ackerman & Co. The two facilities will total 80,000 square feet.

Fifty percent of plaza space has also been pre-leased to Georgia Cancer Specialists, Atlanta Knee & Shoulder Clinic, Georgia Pediatric Cardiology Associates and Kids First Pediatric Group, Ackerman officials said, with a "strong leasing interest from a broad range of specialists for the remainder of the space." The third building, which is planned to open in 2006, is now pre-leasing as well.

The complex's location near the junction of I-75 and I-675 was ideal for serving Henry and Clayton counties, said John Willig, senior vice president of development at Ackerman.

"It's in between Henry Medical Center and Southern Regional Medical Center, so it's very convenient for physicians who work at both hospitals," he said.

The site also offers easier access for patients, Willig said, unlike other locations plagued with traffic, and it provides a central location for nearby growing communities, such as Ellenwood.

"It's the center of the bull's-eye," he said.

"SouthCrest Medical Plaza is receiving such an enthusiastic response from Henry County and Clayton County doctors," said Ackerman founder Charles S. Ackerman, "because it is being developed with physicians é for physicians."

And those Atlanta physicians are Rajiv Pandya and David Jones.

"The vision is for a medical complex in which physicians provide the highest quality, integrated medical care, with the independence to choose hospital services based on the specialized care required," said Pandya, an orthopedic surgeon.

The concept of SouthCrest, said pediatric cardiologist Jones, "is to bring together a coalition of top physicians to deliver the best care to the citizens of rapidly growing Clayton, Henry and surrounding counties."