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WakeMed delaying groundbreaking on Wendell facility

Posted November 5, 2008

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— Health care is not immune from tough economic times.

Raleigh-based WakeMed has decided to hold off indefinitely on building a new hospital in Wendell, citing a sluggish stock markets and home sales.

The facility, with its 12-bed emergency department, imaging center and laboratory, is supposed to be one of the anchors in the 4,000-home Wendell Falls housing development that is expected to transform the town.

Groundbreaking on the hospital had been expected by the end of the year.

"We really need rooftops, and so with that project being delayed and with the economy being such that it is, we made the decision to kind of sit back a little while," Carolyn Knaup, vice president of ambulatory services at WakeMed, said Wednesday.

Greg Ferguson, the subdivision's developer, says plans are still on schedule and the first homes are expected to be finished by early next year.

But Knaup says there are also other concerns in the economy that are delaying the project – "borrowing money, and bond money is a lot more difficult to get now."

Wendell Town Manager David Bone says the town understands the hospital's situation and is hopeful the medical center will eventually move forward.

Meanwhile, he says, this area is still growing.

"We've got more interest in development in eastern Wake County and Wendell than we've ever had before," Bone said.

Knaup says WakeMed is holding onto its option to buy a reserved piece of land on that site.

"We are still very committed to being in that community. We're just taking a little step back," she said.

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  • Nobody but Carolina Nov 6, 2008

    I've really got to give this developer a lot of credit. He is the one who is adding the access to 64 bypass where the bridge construction zone is between Smithfield Rd and Wendell Blvd, not DOT. He is really putting a LOT of money in to this project before it even gets to the point of building homes.

    As far as Wake Med coming in, I see that still happening, it's just a matter of getting back to the point of getting the best financing possible for Wake Med to do it.

  • ShareTheRoad Nov 5, 2008

    they are building a 4,000 home high end subdivision out here in wendell. we currently have 4,000 *residents*! its going to make this little town explode. only thing is, nobody can afford to buy houses in there now, lol. woops! im excited for it to be built tho, with the hospital, fire dept, and giant public park with greenway system, ive been looking forward to it. kinda stinks that the economy took a p ooper

  • RonnieR Nov 5, 2008

    They had an ER in Zebulon and closed it a while back. Looks as if it would be cheaper to reopen that one at Eastern Wake Med.

  • Quagmire Nov 5, 2008

    The new Apex facility is not doing well, no surprise here.