EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Spectrum Health West Michigan officials at today’s groundbreaking event, as well as Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg.

GRAND RAPIDS — BHSH System Spectrum Health West Michigan began work today on a new $37 million rehabilitation and nursing center in Grand Rapids.

The 94,000-square-foot facility at 1226 Cedar St. NE will replace Spectrum Health’s aging continuing care facility nearby on Fuller Avenue that’s owned by Kent County.

Scheduled to open in the spring of 2024, the new Cedar Street campus will have the capacity to care for 120 long-term care patients and include five hospice beds. The center will provide onsite dialysis care and therapy.

“This is going to be an amazing place both in the quality of care given and in the beauty that will be here for families and their loved ones,” Spectrum Health West Michigan President Dr. Darryl Elmouchi said at today’s groundbreaking. “For the residents that will call this new facility home, it will be a state of the art facility where they can spend their time, be healthy and congregate with each other in a way that is positive.”

Elmouchi added that the “sorely needed” project was a “long time coming” for the community.

“We have been talking about doing this for more years than I can count, and the fact that we’re finally here to do it, we are incredibly excited,” Elmouchi said.

Architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE Inc. designed the new facility. The Christman Co. serves as the general contractor.

Chad Tuttle, senior vice president of hospital and post-acute operations at Spectrum Health West Michigan, said the new facility will also include an art therapy program. Tuttle also noted that a Spectrum Health continuing care nurse provided input on room design to make residents and staff more comfortable.

“We’re incredibly excited about everything that will be offered here from a care perspective,” Tuttle said, noting onsite dialysis and hospice services. “From a dialysis perspective, what you may not realize is that a lot of folks who live in long-term care settings today have to get transported multiple times a week to off-site dialysis centers. Here, the residents will be able to receive that right directly on site.”

Once the Cedar Street Continuing Care, Rehabilitation and Nursing Center opens, Spectrum Health plans to turn over the Continuing Care campus at 750 Fuller Ave. back to Kent County.

Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg said county officials have not finalized plans for the Fuller Avenue property, though a “space needs analysis” is underway that will help craft a recommendation for the property to county commissioners.

Spectrum’s new long-term care facility is the health system’s latest large-scale construction project in the city of Grand Rapids that combined represents tens of millions of dollars in investment.

Construction is ongoing at the eight-story Center for Transformation and Innovation in the city’s Monroe North neighborhood. That $60 million to $80 million facility will house about 1,200 Spectrum Health administrative staff — executive leadership, human resources, legal and finance — now working at 26 leased offices in the city. Spectrum expects to save about $15 million annually in rent.

Spectrum last month also broke ground on a 12-story, 240,000-square-foot outpatient facility along the city’s Medical Mile at the former Cook Institute on Michigan Street, across from Butterworth Hospital. The outpatient center will consolidate 10 medical practices now spread throughout the Butterworth campus, and is part of $151 million in clinical projects that also include new facilities in Lakeview and Big Rapids.

Spectrum Overall Aerial

spectrum exterior

Aerial and exterior renderings of BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan’s new long-term care center in Grand Rapids. COURTESY OF PROGRESSIVE AE INC.