Hot property: Urgency Room

  • Article by: DON JACOBSON , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 25, 2012 - 5:28 AM
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The Urgency Room

The Urgency Room 3010 Denmark Av., Eagan

Type: Medical Size: 12,565 square feet

Site: 1.5 acres Developer: EP Development

Details: The Eagan City Council has approved a second walk-in, free-standing emergency clinic from the Minnetonka-based Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA). 

The council gave its thumbs-up May 1 to an Urgency Room to be constructed on a vacant lot next to the Microtel Hotel along Lone Oak Road just east of its intersection with Interstate 35E. 

The physicians group opened its first Urgency Room in Woodbury in 2010, which the firm says served more than 11,000 patients in its first year. 

As originally envisioned, the 1.5-acre lot was to house a restaurant that would be built along with the hotel in 1998. The hotel proceeded but the restaurant never materialized, and the prime spot has been undeveloped ever since. 

That will change with the coming of the Urgency Room, which has been frequently cited as an example how health care providers are moving into traditionally retail settings to try to bring their services where the patients are. 

Designed as a "middle ground" between hospital emergency rooms and urgent care, the facilities are meant to handle "unscheduled acute care needs." They are staffed by board-certified emergency physicians with specialized training for acute cases who can also start care for patients suffering from more life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

EPPA Chief Operating Officer Thomas Klassen told the Eagan Planning Commission that his company has gained valuable experience from the Woodbury facility and is ready to apply it to the Eagan version. 

"This proposal benefits not from any real issues that we've had with [the Woodbury] facility but just improvements -- what it's like for a patient experience to come off [the street] and approach this facility in the winter, drive lanes, access to vehicles behind the facility, etc.," he said. 

The physicians group noted that Eagan does not have a hospital, so the Urgency Room could help fill a void. An Oct. 1 opening date has been targeted. 

Don Jacobson is a freelancer based in St. Paul. He can be reached at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.

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