Mercy physician groups to combine at KMart Plaza

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by Cynthia Price

Undaunted by extremely cold temperatures, a large group of well-wishers gathered last Thursday as three separate Mercy Health Physician practices broke ground on a building that will eventually house them jointly.

Best of all in some people’s view is that the facility will be on the recently-underutilized space on Henry Street between Norton and Seminole that was the home of KMart until the retailer abandoned it in 2004.

“We really appreciate the investment,” said Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund at the groundbreaking.

The three practices are Harbour Pointe, now housed across the street; Harborwood Family Medicine, now on Leahy in the building behind what is now the Hackley campus of Mercy Health; and Norton Family Practice, which has for so long been in the building on Park off of Seminole.

Yet other people are excited because the building will also offer “one-stop shopping” for medical services. In addition to the 25 primary care providers from the practices, there will be urgent care,  X-ray and lab services, physical therapy, aesthetic services, and a pharmacy.

“Mercy Health is striving to make health care more accessible to our patients,” said Kristen Brown, MD, president of Mercy Health Physician Partners. “This is an opportunity to bring together three of our established practices alongside diagnostic and specialty services so that patients can receive care in one, convenient location.”

 Brown was one of many speakers at the groundbreaking – all of whom were careful to be brief so that onlookers could get out of the awful weather. Three physicians representing the various practices: Irma Parra, MD, FAAFP of Harbour Pointe; Gabriel Dunn, MD, of Harborwood; and  Kyle McKinney, DO of Norton Family Practice, joined Presi-

dent Gary Allore and Director of Mission Integration from Mercy Health Muskegon as well as Mayor Nelund.

The facility, 40,000 square feet and costing about $20 million, is expected to open in February 2021. Lindhout Associates Architects did the design, and the general contractor is Elzinga & Volkers Construction.

 The building’s footprint will be smaller than the old KMart store, and there are no current plans to eliminate the strip mall that houses Harbor Cinema, TCBY?Yogurt and Toast’’N Jams Restaurant. In fact, the property is now split into three parcels.

The City of Norton Shores prepared a plan for the area in 2017, and as of earlier this year, the remaining large parcel was going to be used for apartments.Though this was not the exact use called for in the plan, the owner of the parcel has the final say in what he or she is willing to build.

Mercy Health, one of the largest employers in the area, has been building or renovating a great deal in Muskegon and nearby, including other physician offices, urgent care facilities, and of course the large hospital tower on Sherman and US-31.

As duly noted on social media, the Walker Arena will be renamed Mercy Health Arena at the beginning of 2020, based on a large maintenance gift the health group will be giving yearly.


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