The President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital says there will still be a satellite emergency department in the city’s downtown core.
David Musyj reaffirmed that commitment after the city announced on Friday that it is taking offers to sell the former Grace Hospital site.
“The downtown core is not ignored,” says Musyj. “We're going to have an emergency satellite department downtown regardless. It's either going to be here at Ouellette forever, or it's going to be somewhere else."
Musyj tells CTV News the Grace site is still the preferred location for an Urgent Care Centre.
But Mayor Drew Dilkens says the city can't allow the land to sit vacant for so long without shopping around to see if anyone else wants to develop the 6.2 acre urban greenfield.
“We need to move forward and we can't reserve this land without a commitment from the provincial government, which we don't have yet,” adds Dilkens. “We appreciate all of the work the hospital committee has done. We continue and commit to work with the hospital with respect to the identification of another property if one is required."
Musyj says the city is doing its due diligence.
“They got to look,” insists Musyj. “It's not fair to the residents of the City of Windsor to have that continued lot be vacant without it being guaranteed 100 per cent that the satellite department is going to go there."
There is no value for the former Grace site at the corner of Crawford and University, and developers will have 60 days to give expressions of interest, beginning May 6.
Dilkens hopes any activity will serve as a catalyst to spur more development and enhance nearby existing property values.
“We see many possible opportunities that are available to us as a city that we want to explore and allow the development community to come forward and explore as well,” adds Dilkens.
Musyj tells CTV Windsor he doesn't blame the appeals against the proposed location for the new hospital, but he admits it doesn't help.
Musyj adds at the request of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the hospital has been examining the ongoing use of the Ouellette Campus, on an interim basis, for the Satellite Emergency Department and some ambulatory procedures.