Abbott Northwestern Hospital plans on spending $29.2 million to build an inpatient unit for patients with strokes, brain tumors and other health problems requiring neuroscience treatments.

The Minneapolis hospital projects a 20 percent increase in neuroscience patients over the next 10 years due to the aging of the population and an increase in available treatments, said Tom O’Connor, the interim president at Abbott Northwestern.

Word of the new center comes about a year after Bloomington-based HealthPartners opened a new $75 million outpatient center for neuroscience patients in St. Paul.

“We hope to finish planning … in about six months, and then construction is 12 to 18 months,” O’Connor said in an interview. The center could be open in late 2019, he said.

Minneapolis-based Allina Health System, which is the hospital’s parent nonprofit organization, expects to provide $21.7 million for the project with the remaining $7.5 million coming through philanthropic funds.

The planned neuroscience center will include 42,182 square feet of space with 56 beds. The project will build out empty shell space on the sixth floor of a newer building on the hospital campus that was constructed primarily for heart patients.

The new center will have 13 “neuro” intensive care unit beds and 43 step-down/general neurology beds, which will bring all inpatient neurology services on the same floor.

Currently, the ICU and step-down beds are in different buildings.

“The good thing here is that in the new environment, when [patients] finish intensive care they’ll literally just move down the hall,” O’Connor said.

Abbott Northwestern is the largest hospital in the Allina system, which posted in 2017 about $145.9 million in operating income on $4.1 billion in revenue.

Minnesota Department of Health figures for 2015 show that Allina, at the time, was the state’s largest operator of available hospital beds ahead of the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic and HealthPartners/Park Nicollet. Last year’s merger of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and St. Paul-based HealthEast, however, created a system that in 2015 would have exceeded Allina’s tally of available beds, according to health department figures.