Bellin ambulatory surgery center approved in Ashwaubenon
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – A site plan for Bellin Health to build a new ambulatory surgery center (ASC) on the site of the former Menards store by Interstate 41, Waube Lane and Allied Street was approved Tuesday, Nov. 1, by the village’s Site Plan Review Committee.
Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said plans for the five-story, 262,000-square-foot building initially call for building out the first two stories, with the top three stories to be finished later.
In addition to the demolition of the Menards building, he said other buildings on the 14.694-acre site, which include the former BP gas station/Erbert & Gerbert’s, Microtel and Allegra Print & Imaging, will be torn down.
Schuette said the main access will be from Waube Lane, with secondary access points off Allied Street to the north and south.
“There is no access to the south due to the presence of the CN (Canadian National) rail spur that runs along the south property line,” he said.
Schuette said the site plan includes 750 off-street parking spaces, which will be more than adequate for the first phase, which requires 538 spaces.
Under the current village code, he said an additional 521 parking spaces will be required when the top three floors being built out.
However, prior to the second phase of the ASC’s development, Schuette said village staff would have to look at whether Ashwaubenon’s requirements for off-street parking for this type of facility are in line with other communities.
“We have time to work with (that) while the first two floors are built out,” he said. “But that will be something coming back to you (the committee) at some point, either with just a report stating, ‘Yes, we are in line, you need to find additional off-street parking,’ or with a recommendation for a potential change, based upon other comparable communities.”
In recent months, the village looked at code revisions related to parking, with a change approved by the Village Board in August to relax the off-street requirements for restaurants and taverns.
Schuette said the landscaping around the site, which will meet village requirements with 25% green space, also calls for a gravel walking path around the exterior.
Though the site was recently added to the village’s Tax Incremental Financing District No. 5, he said the village is not providing Bellin Health any TIF incentives to develop the property.
Trustee Gary Paul said the project plans created “buzz in the air about Ashwaubenon getting a beautiful building.”
“There’s no doubt it’s something that is really going to fix up this piece of land that’s been vacant for a number of years, so it’s nice to see this come,” he said.
Village President Mary Kardoskee said the project will improve the appearance of the first entrance from the south into Ashwaubenon off Interstate 41.
“It will be very nice to have a really nice facility like this there,” she said.
Paul Vlies, director of facilities management and security for Bellin Health, said a general contractor has not yet been selected for the project.
Prior to the committee meeting, Bellin Health released a statement saying work on the project will begin in early 2022, with the building “expected to open for business in fall 2023.”
“This new facility will provide increased access, an improved experience and lower costs for our patients, all while helping us fulfill our mission of enabling everyone in our region to achieve and maintain their full health and well-being potential,” Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske said in the release. “The Ambulatory Surgery Center model has proven successful at our location in Marinette, and we look forward to sharing those same advantages with the Green Bay-area community.”
Bellin Health said the ASC will include eight operating rooms and have room for up to four more, based on future growth.
The company stated the first floor will house the expansion of Bellin Health’s orthopedics department, including a joint replacement clinic and rheumatology clinic, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy, while the second floor will be dedicated to surgical services, including pre-surgical prep, operating rooms and recovery.
Bellin Health said the facility is expected to house some 450 providers and staff members once fully operational.
The company stated the ASC is being built in Ashwaubenon “at a time when demand for Bellin’s surgical services and related care continues to grow.”
“Its interstate-adjacent location and large footprint will offer ease of driving and parking access, and the continued expansion of services will allow the health system to provide high-quality care to more patients with ease of access and less waiting for appointments,” the company’s statement said.
Bellin Health stated this type of facility lowers patient costs, with a 20-40% reduction in the payment rate versus a hospital-based ASC.
The company stated it is working with H.J. Martin and Son to develop the site.
“This property is being developed to better serve the health care needs of this community, which benefits us all,” David Martin said. “We are proud to continue a long history of partnership and we look forward to seeing this impactful community project come to fruition.”