With more than $1 billion invested in academic medicine construction projects in Arizona, Banner Health’s biggest project— a 16-story, 372,476 square-foot hospital tower in Phoenix—opens Tuesday, Nov. 6th.

The tower is part of a $417.9 million upgrade at Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix, on E. McDowell Road that includes a three-story, 64,000-square-foot emergency department that opened in June.

Image: Cheryl Evans/The Republic

Constructed on top of the new emergency department, the upgrade makes Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix both the tallest and largest hospital in Arizona, according to Banner Health officials.

Thirteen of the new tower’s floors are dedicated to patient care and, for the time being, the top floor is reserved for the hospital’s liver- and kidney-transplant program. The ninth floor includes a 22-bed behavioral health unit.

Staff will begin moving patients to the new tower in phases beginning Nov. 6, with the completion of the full move by the end of January according to Josh Tinkle, associate administrator of the academic medical center.

Room for two more towers

The layout of the new tower leaves room to construct two more towers, although no timeline has been established for their construction. While healthcare is increasingly focused on outpatient care, the trend needs to be balanced with Phoenix’s rapid population growth and an aging population of Baby Boomers, Tinkle says.

The Banner tower expansion brings more jobs for healthcare professionals and new opportunities for investors to provide nearby rental housing in Phoenix’s low-inventory rental market.

In addition, other major current and upcoming healthcare-related projects in the Valley will call for additional local housing to accommodate growing staffs. They include:

Mayo Clinic in North Phoenix, which is about to nearly double the size of its campus near Loop 101 and 56th Street with a five-year building project set to cost $648 million. The project is the largest expansion in not-for-profit Mayo Clinic’s 30-year history in Arizona.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Creighton University plans to begin construction on a new, nearly $100 million health sciences campus at the site of the old Park Central Mall in midtown Phoenix in 2019. The project’s first phase includes a new building totaling 200,000 square feet and eventually will house nearly 800 Creighton health sciences students in Arizona.

Maricopa Integrated Health System expects to have ongoing construction projects over the next six years, financed by a $935 million bond approved by Maricopa County voters in 2014. MIHS began building a West Valley primary and specialty care center in Peoria, acquired the shuttered Maryvale Hospital, and has begun early-phase construction of a new hospital at 24th Street and Roosevelt to replace Maricopa Medical Center, which opened in 1971.

Phoenix booming healthcare industry