St. Charles clinic proposed in Destrehan

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2012



LULING – St. Charles Parish Hospital recently announced that it is considering a proposed after-hours primary care facility near Destrehan Plantation.

Hospital officials have been in talks with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, one of 17 non-profit organizations headed by Prince Charles of Wales to redevelop property owned by BP that was once known as the Pan Am Refinery. The refinery, which was located just west of the plantation, closed in 1958.

The project would move forward if voters in St. Charles approve the hospital’s proposal on the April 21 ballot to borrow $15 million backed by an existing 3.16-mill property tax dedicated to various construction projects. St. Charles Hospital CEO Fred Martinez said the facility will provide adult primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. After normal hours, the facility will offer advanced after-hours medical care so parish residents of the east bank can easily access such services without crossing the Mississippi River into Luling, where the main hospital is located.

Martinez also said the hospital is exploring the opportunity to partner with the Ochsner Health System to provide some of the services at the new facility.  

BP hired the Prince’s Foundation to jump-start development of the entire 165-acre property near the intersection of River Road and Interstate 310 as a “town center,” with retail space, service businesses and a business incubator, said Ann Daigle, the New Orleans Area partner for the foundation.

Daigle said the “town center” plan would incorporate ideas from Destrehan Plantation representatives and other local philanthropic, environmental and economic development agencies. She said the plan would also include residential development with a range of housing types and would act as an anchor to protect a 1,400-acre tract of wetlands between River Road and Airline Highway.

Daigle said one of the corporation’s tasks is to choose a master developer for the site. According to marketing information provided by the foundation, the “town center” will be on the property’s southwest corner with light industrial uses located on the north side of the property close to the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

BP has been working to put the 165-acre property back into commerce for years. It obtained the site when it acquired Amoco in 1998. The company later donated 5.18 acres of the property to St. Charles Parish for the construction of the parish’s East Regional Library in 2006, in exchange for the parish building a divided access road to the building.

Other hospital projects in the $15 million bond issue is the creation of a cardiac cauterization unit for testing such as angiograms, new ambulances and a new outpatient center for heart, lung, vision and bone care at the hospital’s main campus.