UPDATED: JANUARY 25, 2017 1:21 PM — Florida Hospital Waterman spent $900,000 on Jan. 18 to buy its second piece of land on U.S. 441 in the past two months for future development.
The purchase included two parcels totaling 3.7 acres in Leesburg on Sleepy Hollow Road with frontage on U.S. 441, across from where S.R. 44 comes into the highway.
Last Nov. 18,Waterman paid $2.35 million for 10.5 acres on U.S. 441 in Mount Dora at the entrance to Country Club of Mount Dora.
No specific plans have been made for either property, said Steven Jenkins, spokesman for Florida Hospital.
"Florida Hospital Waterman has purchased the (Leesburg) property for potential future development. We will be working closely with area residents and the city (of Leesburg) leaders as plans for the site are fully developed," Jenkins said.
Trevor Hall, Jr., director land services for Colliers International Central Florida, represented Florida Hospital Waterman in both purchases. He said the hospital has been looking for suitable sites for medical offices in the U.S. 441 corridor with good access to population centers. The Leesburg purchase is eight miles west of Waterman's main campus, and the Country Club of Mount Dora is 6.4 miles from the main hospital.
"The idea is building medical offices convenient to Lake County's central population areas," Hall said. The medical office buildings would have medical staff who could help patients on-site or, if they need hospitalization, could be transported directly to the main Lake County campus in Tavares.
The most recent land was bought from E.L. Williams Inc., managers of which did not respond to calls for comment. The smaller of the two parcels at 100 Sleepy Hollow Road is vacant commercial. The other has a 1,700-square-foot office building built in 1957 and a billboard site on it.
Like many local hospitals, Florida Hospital Waterman has been on a development-planning tear lately.
It added 42 acres to its original 111.56-acre campus in Tavares and integrated them into their land bank. The hospital plans to create a medical/health care-oriented development anchored by the hospital, with an outer loop that would allow typical healthcare-related businesses, including medical offices, assisted living homes, and hospice at its Tavares campus.