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Northside Hospital Plans 480-Bed Tower As Part Of Major Gwinnett Expansion

Northside Gwinnett Hospital, which is being targeted by the healthcare system provider for expansion in the coming years.

Three years after Northside Hospital’s acquisition of the Gwinnett Medical Center system, the healthcare giant is expanding the suburban hospital campus with a new, 480-bed tower, setting it on a course to become the state's second-largest hospital by bed count.

Northside Hospital filed an application with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to expand its existing hospital in Lawrenceville, 30 miles north of Downtown Atlanta, with the tower as well as a 150K SF medical office building.

The Atlanta office of medical real estate developer Realty Trust Group is listed as the developer on the application. Officials with Realty Trust Group didn't respond to Bisnow's requests for comment.

The DRI plans is a revision of Northside's expansion of the Gwinnett Hospital that broke ground in June for a new, 132-bed patient tower and a 144K SF medical office tower, expected to deliver in 2025, Dentons Partner Sam Olens, who represents Northside Hospital, confirmed to Bisnow. 

Northside now plans to make way for 143 active patient beds and an additional 337 observational beds -- beds reserved by a hospital for surges in patient demand -- due to the anticipated growth of Gwinnett County, Olens said. The Atlanta Regional Commission is projecting Gwinnett to be Metro Atlanta's most populous county by 2050 with an excess of 1.4 million residents.

The existing 388-bed Level II Trauma Center campus includes the Strickland Heart Center, the Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion and employs more than 5,100 people, according to the hospital’s website. The revised expansion will eventually give Northside Gwinnett Hospital 868 beds, just behind Grady Memorial Hospital in Downtown Atlanta, which is the state’s largest hospital by bed count with more than 950 beds, according to a 2021 analysis by Hospital Management. Northside expects to deliver the expansion by 2026.

Northside acquired Gwinnett Medical Center in 2019 in an agreement that required Northside to invest $500M into the Gwinnett system over the course of a decade and to pay off $275M in its debts, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

It's Gwinnett campus is growing in the wake of a controversial hospital closure.

Wellstar Health System shuttered the Atlanta Medical Center hospital in Downtown Atlanta earlier this month after facing “decreasing revenue and increasing costs for staff and supplies due to soaring inflation,” Wellstar said in a press release.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has decried the decision for the harm he said it will do to the city's lower-income residents.

The closure leaves Grady the only Level 1 Trauma hospital in Atlanta and ended the operations of what had been the state’s second-largest hospital by bed count. AMC operated 762 beds, according to Hospital Management.

UPDATE, NOV. 3, 12:15 P.M. EDT: The story has been updated to reflect additional information from Northside Hospital.