HealthPartners is building a large orthopedic medicine clinic and surgery center as part of the CityPlace development in Woodbury.

The new Tria Orthopaedic Center will include 75,000 square feet of space in a three-story medical office building that will be visible from Interstate 94, said Steve Housh, vice president of orthopedic services at HealthPartners, a Bloomington-based health insurer and operator of clinics and hospitals. The estimated cost is $48 million.

It's the latest example of how patient demand for joint replacements and other orthopedic procedures is fueling new construction across the Twin Cities.

"Orthopedics is probably the fastest growing area of medicine, with our baby boomers aging and staying active longer," said Dr. Ed Craig, the chief executive at Tria Orthopaedic, in an interview. "The demand for orthopedic services keeps expanding, and will continue to expand over the next 20 years."

Tria's move to the east metro puts it in closer competition with doctors at St. Croix Orthopaedics, a group that treats patients at HealthPartners' hospital in nearby Stillwater.

Orthopedic procedures, in fact, have constituted a large share of the patient base at Lakeview Hospital, which in 2011 merged into HealthPartners.

Mary Brainerd, the HealthPartners chief executive, said in an interview there would be a degree of competition between the groups, but said they could partner with one another, too.

Brainerd said that doctors at Tria have been innovative in moving orthopedic care to more efficient settings.

"The old model, particularly for orthopedic procedures, was you went in the hospital," Brainerd said. "There was an approach that had you focused on inpatient hospital stays — longer-term stays."

Tria was part of the St. Louis Park-based Park Nicollet health system until 2013 when Park Nicollet also merged into HealthPartners, which last year posted $198 million in operating income on $5.5 billion in revenue.

CityPlace is the 100-acre site of the former State Farm Insurance Co. campus at Radio Drive and I-94. Last year, developers announced Whole Foods Market as an anchor tenant, plus a 116-room Residence Inn by Marriott.

Groundbreaking for the new orthopedic center could come in the spring, with opening expected during summer 2017. The developers are Florida-based Elion Partners and Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson.

This month, Tria opened an orthopedic medicine center in Maple Grove as part of a $48 million specialty center being built by HealthPartners.

In December 2014, Golden Valley-based Twin Cities Orthopedics announced plans for a new sports medicine clinic in Eden Prairie, plus plans to move into larger clinic spaces in Maple Grove and Plymouth.

Rochester-based Mayo Clinic opened in 2014 a new sports medicine clinic in downtown Minneapolis, while a large physician group in the east metro called Summit Orthopedics opened last year a new center in Vadnais Heights.

In April, Twin Cities Orthopedics announced a merger with St. Croix Orthopaedics.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744

Twitter: @chrissnowbeck