LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A partnership announced Thursday by Mayor Linda Gorton and William Sisson, president of Baptist Health Lexington, will bring a new medical campus, as many as 700 new, good-paying jobs, a $1 billion construction project, and land for a new fire/emergency medical station to Lexington.
Baptist first announced plans for the project last November.
“It’s exciting to announce a huge construction project and plans for jobs … new jobs, good jobs, home-grown jobs … at a time when our economy is just starting to recover from the fallout from COVID-19,” Gorton said.
“These are jobs with a future for hundreds of citizens. And for the city, this will create new revenue to continue to maintain a high quality of life that grows our economy and serves our citizens.”
“Our goal in the development of this ambulatory campus is to envision the healthcare delivery system of the future, while maintaining the caring and quality Baptist Health Lexington is known for. We are proud to be able to re-invest back into this community and region to support health and wellness,” Sisson added.
Earlier this month, the Urban County Council gave initial approval to the plan. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
The new campus will be on 129 acres located in the Hamburg area, off Polo Club Boulevard and Man O War Boulevard. Baptist bought the property in late 2008.
Long-term plans call for a multi-story hospital, a surgery center, 12 other buildings containing a combination of retail and medical office space and two parking garages.
Construction will be done in phases.
The first phase will focus on outpatient surgery and other medical services. That, along with physicians’ offices, an emergency room, and surface parking, will open by early 2023.
Baptist Health’s location on Nicholasville Road is not going anywhere. That location has been undergoing an expansion and remodeling.
In addition to the new jobs, for its part of the partnership, Baptist is giving the city three acres for the construction of a fire station to serve the fast-growing areas on the southeastern edge of the city around the I-75 interchanges. The land is valued at approximately $2 million.
Baptist will also provide annual flu shots to City employees for 20 years, saving the city the $40,000 it spends each year on those shots.
For a 20-year period beginning in 2023, the city is providing incentives for the new Baptist jobs, which are expected to pay about $89,000 a year.
The total annual payroll is about $55 million a year.
In the first five years of the 20-year agreement, the city will rebate 1.25% of the new payroll taxes created by the new jobs. In years six to 20, the City will rebate 1.125% of the new payroll tax created.
“These are tax rebates on new jobs … jobs and tax money we would not have without this project,” Gorton said.
Even with the rebate, the new jobs will create approximately over a $500,000 a year in new payroll taxes, according to city estimates.