Health care options increase in Four Points

More medical choices for area residents

Residents in the Four Points area soon will no longer have to commute to Central Austin to visit their primary care physicians, family practitioners or even specialists.

By the end of 2013, a slew of well-known medical groups—Austin Diagnostic Clinic, Austin Radiological Association, Austin Regional Clinic and Texan Urgent Care—will join recently opened VIK Medical Urgent Care and Family Practice as neighborhood health care treatment centers.

Ray Freer, president of the Four Points Chamber of Commerce, said that the influx of medical offices will benefit local residents who have traditionally lacked physicians and specialists nearby.

"We'll have all the conveniences without having to leave the community," Freer said.

Freer said the new facilities may also shorten the commute of physicians and medical staffers who live in the area.

Steiner Ranch resident Julie Ballengee has driven her three children about 35 minutes for appointments in Round Rock, but likes having options closer to home.

Ballengee also periodically scheduled medical visits with an allergist, a pulmonologist and other specialists for family members—all marked by long drives from her Four Points neighborhood.

She has a long wait to book an appointment with her primary care physician—one of the few in residence in Steiner Ranch—and her husband is still searching for a doctor he can visit around his work schedule. Ballengee said the planned influx of medical offices is a blessing.

"The demographics in Steiner Ranch show young professionals and families," said Sandy Carnelly, director of marketing and public relations for ADC. "Until recently, it's been an underserved area as far as medical care is concerned."

Carnelly said ADC will be opening by the end of the year in Quinlan Crossing with predominantly family practice physicians and pediatricians on staff.

Her medical group had looked in the area for about six to eight months before they settled on a site at the entrance to the Steiner Ranch development.

The 12,000-square-foot ADC medical building will be located at 5145 N. RR 620, Bldg. I, and plans to feature 30 exam rooms and an on-site lab. Evening and weekend care will be available at the Four Points location in the future.

ADC has six Central Texas offices that are connected through technology and can forward patient information from one location to another.

The Medical Tower at River Place, a multistory medical office building near the corner of River Place Boulevard and RR 2222, has been in the works, but progress stalled following a sale of the site in December from the original developer, Onair Development, to Arise Capital Investments.

The project, which is at 6611 River Place Blvd., is now back on track with a planned opening in September, said Eric Perardi, CEO of Arise.

Texan Urgent Care will anchor the 36,000-square-foot facility, which is already about 98 percent preleased, Perardi said.

Other tenants scheduled to office in the building include Little River Healthcare Systems; Austin Pain Associates; Advanced Rehabilitation; Happy Mental Wellness Center; Greater Austin Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; and Riverplace OB/GYN.

The new tenants were offered "an ownership stake" in the Medical Tower's office building, Perardi said.

Arise Capital Investments launched its new firm with the purchase of the development rights for the River Place site and has additional plans for expansion in Bee Cave, Dripping Springs and Manor.

Dr. Robert Wills—founder of Austin Pain Associates—CEO Jared Leger, Perardi and Rick Benson are founding partners for Arise. Perardi and Benson have backgrounds in business development and commercial real estate.

The Medical Tower's buildout comes on the heels of the opening of VIK Medical Urgent Care and Family Practice in February. Dr. Michael Vik's Riverplace office is the physician's third site in the Austin area following locations in Westlake and Lakeway.

Vik's new 15,000-square-foot facility boasts an in-house X-ray center and a medical lab room. His Four Points medical office building will eventually become part of a three-pad, 40,000-square-foot office space site.

In addition to Vik's walk-in general medical practice, the new location will include specialists such as ENT and cardiology as satellite practices on the building's second floor.

Austin Regional Clinic and Austin Radiological Association recently announced plans to open new offices in Phase II of the Trails at 620 center.

Casey Beasley, vice president of real estate development firm Kemp Properties, said a third tenant medical group may occupy the site, which is scheduled to open in July 2014. The facility is slated to house primary care physicians and some specialty practices.

Kemp Properties and its partners closed on the property in November 2012.

Beasley said the population growth in the Four Points area and its demographics enticed the medical providers to the new Trails location.

"We looked up and down 620 and like the location and the project," Beasley said. "It's a good deal for us and the shopping center to have a strong medical service provider."



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