Port of Ridgefield sells 75 acres to hospital system for ‘super clinic’

Southwest Washington Health System, the parent of Southwest Washington Medical Center, announced the purchase of 75 acres along Interstate 5 in Ridgefield from the Port of Ridgefield for $17.8 million.

Exact plans for what is being called the Discovery Pointe property are unknown and will take shape as medical needs emerge, but the ‘super clinic’ may incorporate retail elements or a hotel, said Joseph Kortum, SWMC president and chief executive officer.

The clinic will likely offer outpatient and ambulatory services to start and may expand to inpatient services over time, he said.

The project timeline is difficult to predict, but planners are set to meet with Seattle-based architecture firm NBBJ on March 8 to better define the project and hope to have a definitive plan worked out in at least 18 months, said Dr. Gil Rodriguez, SWMC chief medical officer. The architecture firm also designed the hospital’s Firstenburg Patient Tower, which opened Feb. 19.

The property acquisition is part of the health system’s goal of expanding its services throughout Clark County. It recently purchased 12 acres on 192nd Avenue in Camas, the plans for which are also in the development phase.

“There is great optimism about the future growth of Clark County, especially in this area,” Kortum said.

The Port of Ridgefield received several offers on the site in the past, but officials wanted to ensure the property would be used in a way that best met the future needs of the community. Officials had great hopes medical facilities that bring high-paying knowledge-based jobs and attract more quality jobs to the area may be developed on the land for some time, said Executive Director Brent Grening.

Port Commissioner Joe Melroy said he is tickled that the purchase was made by local folks who have a stake in the community rather than an overseas corporation.

“We know them, you all know them,” he said. “It’s a good thing.”