YELM - The Yelm area has a new destination for medical care, a $9 million, 36,000-square-foot building that should accommodate the area's rapid growth for years to come.
The facility is the Yelm Medical Plaza Building, and its completion was celebrated Saturday afternoon with an open house, including food and a gathering of South Sound business and community leaders. After the ceremonial ribbon was cut, about 400 people poured into the building, at state Route 510 and Tahoma Boulevard, to get a look.
The building has three owners: Yelm Family Medicine, a longtime medical practice; Providence Health & Services Southwest Washington; and former business owner and developer Scott Ritter through his company, RDS1 LLC. Yelm Family Medicine and Providence also are tenants in the building, as are PacLab, Apple Physical Therapy and Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.
Yelm Family Medicine was bursting at the seams at its previous 12,000-square-foot clinic. At the new facility, the family practice has room to grow to 16 doctors from eight and no longer has to send patients to Olympia for certain medical services now that Providence is in the same building, said Dr. Kirk Dawson.
“The community is growing, and we need to keep up with that growth,” he said.
Yelm Family Medicine patients now will have access to on-site specialty care and advanced imaging services, which eventually will include mammography, ultrasound and bone-density services, Dawson said.
The project almost didn’t take off, developer Ritter said.
Although the building was owner-occupied and already had tenants, lenders were sidetracked by the slower economy and other financing issues following the economic meltdown in fall 2008. Ritter was turned down by 14 lenders before he finally began working with a division of Chetco Federal Credit Union on the Southern Oregon coast called Commercial Lending Solutions.
The project isn’t complete, Ritter said. He still has 3,500 square feet of space in the building for lease and three exterior building pads that could accommodate an additional 33,000 square feet of construction, he said.