A Wilmington-based LLC plans to build medical offices in downtown Milton across from H.O. Brittingham Elementary School.
Developer Phoenix RHCS Holdings is seeking to rezone five parcels from R-1 residential to C-1 commercial to accommodate the office buildings. At a Jan. 6 town council meeting, Tom Ross of Phoenix RHCS Holdings said Beebe Healthcare will be a tenant.
In a statement, Beebe Interim CEO Rick Schaffner said, “We will be establishing a coordinated Milton campus where we will be providing primary care, walk-in care, specialists, as well as diagnostic imaging, laboratory services and rehabilitation services.”
“We’re very pleased to announce that we are going to partner with Beebe Healthcare on a world-class medical facility on Mulberry Street,” Ross said.
The request for a rezoning will be heard by the planning and zoning commission Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Milton library. If the commission recommends the rezoning move forward, a public hearing will be held by town council Monday, April 6.
Ross said the plan is to have two 40,000-square-foot buildings on the nearly 8-acre parcel. The first would provide space for the planned Beebe campus, while the second would offer additional medical office space.
“In our experience, these facilities, when you partner with a high-quality provider like Beebe, other providers want to co-locate within that community,” Ross said.
Project engineer Ted Williams said each building would be two stories. He said access to the site is currently off Mulberry Street, but Phoenix RHCS is working with Delaware Department of Transportation and the town to find additional access points. Besides going through the planning and zoning commission, Williams said part of the parcel is within the historic district, subject to review by the Historic Preservation Commission.
When asked by Councilman Charlie Fleetwood if the buildings would be similar to Beebe’s outpatient facilities in Georgetown, Ross responded yes and no. The facility would have a coastal look using wood and stone, but the basic function of the buildings would be similar.
Ross said the presentation to council Jan. 6 was to give a brief overview of the project; a formal presentation will be provided at the planning and zoning commission’s Jan. 21 meeting. Representatives for Beebe were not at the town council meeting, but Ross said they would be at the planning and zoning meeting. He said Phoenix RHCS is also planning to submit its proposal for review by the Office of State Planning Coordination’s Preliminary Land Use Service.
Williams said the plan offers significant open space and ample parking. Ross said Phoenix RHCS is purchasing the land from Loblolly, the property management arm of Draper Holdings, owners of WBOC TV. Phoenix RHCS would own the land, and Beebe would be a tenant of Phoenix RHCS, Ross said. Williams said Beebe is still evaluating what the best fit would be for the community.
While some citizens had questions about the facility, it had support from both current and former members of town council.
“I think it’s great,” said former Mayor Jack Bushey. “It’s about time.”