Let’s not break the Internet

While progress continues, slow but steady, on our area’s new regional medical center, it’s important to revisit the total impact. Set aside for a moment the obvious parts of this discussion, e.g., that we need a new hospital, that unifying existing health care facilities and entities has been an ongoing process, that this is—fundamentally—a Good Thing . . . put to one side all those things, and consider the sheer magnitude of this public-private investment in our area.

The hospital project itself, we’re told, has a $480 million budget. The county and city have agreed to invest an additional $43.5 million, to fund a parking garage. Grand total—not counting other likely future investments that will occur—more than $523 million. More than half a billion dollars. As we’ve mentioned before, this is an unprecedented, historic public-private investment in our community. In our community’s largest population center. In the urban core of the largest city in our area.

Set aside the many other issues that have been addressed and the questions that have been asked and answered, and consider the enormous economic impact of a half-billion-dollar investment on our city, county, region.

Do we really have to list all the immediate and longer-term benefits?

If we did, we might break the Internet.

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