Park Nicollet broke ground earlier this month on a $13.5 million clinic in Lakeville that will replace a nearby facility and is the health system's second project to launch in Dakota County within the past year.

Construction started in 2018 to expand a Burnsville facility to offer specialty care from Park Nicollet, which is part of the Bloomington-based HealthPartners network of clinics and hospitals.

The developments fit with a broader trend in which health care providers including Allina Health System, Apple Valley Medical Center and Northfield Hospital have recently announced or completed projects that renovate existing health care spaces or create new ones.

"We're continuing to see rapid growth in the south metro," said Joan Sandstrom, vice president of primary care for Park Nicollet, in a statement. "We'll be able to provide care for more than 10,000 additional patients in the area."

Last year, Minneapolis-based Allina opened retail clinics within Hy-Vee stores in Eagan and Lakeville, plus a replacement clinic in Hastings. Apple Valley Medical Center last year announced a $3 million project to renovate patient care spaces including examination rooms

Earlier this year, Northfield Hospital said it would spend about $13 million on projects to expand a clinic and birth center at the hospital campus. While most of Northfield is in Rice County, the campus is situated in the small portion of town that's in Dakota County.

The new Park Nicollet clinic in Lakeville will be nearly five times the size of the health system's current clinic in town. That facility was built in 2011 at a time when a number of health systems had construction projects underway in Dakota County.

The new Park Nicollet clinic is scheduled to open in February 2020, at which point the current clinic will close, the health system said in a statement. With the new clinic, Park Nicollet said it expects to add 30 new staff and clinicians over the next five years.