Miami Beach

Baptist Health wants to open urgent care in South Beach

jflechas@MiamiHerald.com

This rendering shows the proposed five-story building for 709 Alton Road, where Baptist Health wants to open an urgent care center, diagnostic center and outpatient surgery center.
This rendering shows the proposed five-story building for 709 Alton Road, where Baptist Health wants to open an urgent care center, diagnostic center and outpatient surgery center. Crescent Heights

Baptist Health wants to open an urgent care center in South Beach, but the other hospital in town has something to say about that.

After some lobbying from Mount Sinai Medical Center representatives and some neighbors at a recent planning board meeting, the board wants a neighborhood impact study before deciding on the project.

It would be Baptist’s first urgent care center in the Beach. The urgent care, along with diagnostic offices and an outpatient surgery center, would be housed in a five-story building to be built at 709 Alton Road by prominent Miami Beach developer Russell Galbut.

The project was originally proposed as a mix of retail, restaurant and office space last year, but that was reconsidered because of the building’s location at the bottom of the ramp connecting the MacArthur Causeway and Alton Road.

Baptist has been looking for an opportunity to open this type of facility in Miami Beach for some time, according to executive vice president and chief operating officer Wayne Brackin.

“This one came to our attention,” he told the Miami Herald on Tuesday. “The architectural style of the [planned] building is really stunning, and we thought the location was very good, and there is sufficient demand from Beach for our services.”

At the Jan. 28 planning board meeting, Mount Sinai CEO Steve Sonenreich appeared with a lobbyist for the medical center. Sonenreich insisted Mount Sinai doesn’t have a position on the project, after which their lobbyist raised questions about traffic and other impacts the center would have on the neighborhood.

In an interview Monday, Sonenreich maintained that Mount Sinai was concerned for the neighborhood impacts, and insisted this wasn’t about competition.

“I have great concerns about the intensity of services that this project describes, the compatibility with the neighboring community and the impact it would have on the community,” he said.

Some neighbors at the meeting favored the project, and several wanted more information on the neighborhood impact. After hearing the feedback, the planning board decided to ask the City Commission to pay for an independent study. The City Commission will consider this at its meeting Wednesday.

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