During Tuesday’s Brownwood City Council meeting, the city approved a $350,000 incentive for Hendrick Health System to construct a Medical Office Building next to the Hendrick Surgery Center.   

The Surgery Center, a 13,400 square-foot facility, opened earlier this year. Now Hendrick plans a 20,500 square-foot building with physician space, a lab draw station, radiology services and physical therapy services to accompany it. The project is projected at $11.6 million total.   

Guy Andrews is the executive director of the Brownwood Municipal Development District, which is providing the Hendrick incentive. Hendrick is slated to receive $100,000 when it obtains a certificate of occupancy, then $50,000 a year for the next five years provided it meets certain criteria.   

Andrews said Hendrick’s new facility will fill a pressing area need. “We do a survey called a gap analysis … to identify where there are ‘gaps,’ where we have people leaving town for particular services,” Andrews said. “Medical was on that list. Any time we have somebody that comes in asking for incentives, and it’s something that’s in our gap analysis, we certainly entertain that.”   

To receive the final $250,000, Hendrick must employ at least 18 people with an average salary of at least $73,278 at the new facility. Andrews said the BMDD structures all its incentives so that after the initial payment, “the rest of them are kind of earned over a period of time based on what they told us.”

“Actually, 18 is kind of their minimum number,” he said. “If you look at what they submitted, over a period of five years they’ll go to about 34 [employees].”

In addition to the building’s physician space, there will also be a room for medical supply retail sales and a classroom for education purposes with its own dedicated entrance. Andrews said construction is scheduled to begin this month for completion sometime in spring 2018.

“They build high-quality stuff, like the Surgery Center,” Andrews said. “It’ll be equally as nice.”

Hendrick, Andrews said, has purchased additional land near the Surgery Center and future Medical Office Building, suggesting they may not be done with their Brownwood expansion plans.

But Andrews said expanded medical offerings are just another step in Brownwood’s growth. “If the city’s not growing, you’re dying,” he said.

Andrews said the Medical Office Building will create ad valorem tax and sales tax for the city.

“Growing that tax base and filling those gaps that are identified in the surveys is critical. It’s quality of life.”

Hendrick Health System is an Abilene-based healthcare company that was founded in 1924.

The Medical Office Building will be located at 2371 Crockett Dr. in Brownwood.