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Published on November 23, 2021

Washington Business Journal: Virginia Hospital Center expands footprint in McLean with $34.5M purchase

Virginia Hospital Center is charging ahead with its campus expansion while growing its ambulatory footprint — starting with a $34.5 million purchase in McLean.

The Arlington health system has purchased a building at 1760 Old Meadow Road where it’s setting up an orthopedic outpatient surgery center, according to VHC CEO Jim Cole. The hospital is now renovating a 14,900- square-foot area of existing building in a project expected to cost $6.4 million including construction and equipment.

The building — which VHC purchased from Harrison Metro LLC, per public records — has existing tenants with lease agreements in place. Those tenants will continue to lease their spaces, according to the hospital, which is also evaluating how it may make use of a limited amount of additional vacant space in the building.

One of those tenants is OrthoVirginia, which counts more than 30 locations across the commonwealth including Alexandria, Arlington, Burke, Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Herndon, Reston and Springfield. OrthoVirginia leases office space in 1760 Old Meadow Road for its orthopedic clinic — and will serve as Virginia Hospital Center’s joint venture partner for the surgery center.

The hospital conceived the surgery center to meet the needs of the growing community, and expects to serve several thousand patients annually by its second full year in operation, VHC said. The facility is slated to open in mid-2022.

The McLean expansion part of VHC’s effort to become more accessible beyond its hospital footprint, as the independent acute-care facility prepares for a growing — and increasingly aging — population by moving certain services offsite. The hospital is also in the process of executing an expansion on its existing campus, including an outpatient pavilion and parking garage.

“We’re looking at a fairly aggressive expansion of our access points in terms of primary care and other types of access,” Cole said in an interview.

That includes a primary care and obstetrics office the organization opened in October at the intersection of George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike in Arlington. There, VHC is leasing nearly 5,000 square feet, it said, declining to disclose terms of the agreement. That South Arlington practice’s three providers have already reached the patient volumes VHC expected would take at least three months to hit, Cole said.

VHC has yet to purchase more property for this expansion, but “there will be others,” Cole said. That roadmap includes a practice in Annandale at 7611 Little River Turnpike in Annandale, scheduled to open in spring 2022. VHC Physician Group, which comprises about 130 primary care doctors and specialists, serves patients at more than a dozen locations across Northern Virginia.

The hospital is also not ruling out the District and Maryland for future sites. “That’s a possibility. We’re certainly looking at that,” Cole said.