Harrison buys land for cancer care center

t $25 million cancer care facility coming to North End in 2009.

POULSBO — Harrison Medical Center is coming to the city of Poulsbo, announced Mayor Kathryn Quade Wednesday night. The two entities now have a signed purchase and sale agreement for land on the Viking City’s 10th Avenue to the tune of $2.8 million.

Harrison plans to begin construction this spring, with the first phase of its project opening in 2009. The full $25 million facility is expected to be complete in 2010. The 50,000-square-foot campus will include urgent and primary care facilities, as well as a 15,000-square-foot outpatient cancer care center.

The announcement came as good news to the city council in light of the evening’s dominating discussion, which centered on service cuts to balance the city’s budget, which faces a preliminary $1 million shortfall.

Quade called the partnership “an economic shot in the arm” and said having both a new city hall and Harrison campus under construction next year will provide both an immediate boost in living wage jobs and offer longterm benefits.

The land, originally purchased by the city in 2005 for $2.1 million, was first considered as a site for a new city hall until a November 2006 citizen advisory vote shifted that project to the downtown core. Proceeds from the sale are now earmarked to help offset the $16.9 million cost of a city hall at Moe Street and Third Avenue.

Harrison’s intentions to move into Poulsbo became public in August, though Quade said “heavy work” on behalf of the city and hospital began in 2005. She tipped her hat to council member Ed Stern for his strong involvement in the process.

Stern said Harrison’s move-in will have a transformative effect on the town, making it a regional medical hub and bringing a high caliber array of upper level and support jobs to the area.

“We should all be very proud,” he said.

Stern added the city continues to be fiscally conservative, and hasn’t included any revenues or impact fees the project will bring into its projected 2009 budget. In the past Stern has noted Harrison’s arrival as the continued diversification of Poulsbo’s tax base, which has helped the city weather the current economic downtown.

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