Woodbury isn’t exactly, positively changing its name to Doctor City, Minn.
But that may not be a bad idea, as the city recently announced that more than 300 healthcare-related businesses have moved to the city.
These range from large hospitals to boutique chiropractors to kidney centers. If anyone needs to floss, the city’s dental offices are waiting—73 of them.
“It’s an extraordinary way to attract people to Woodbury,” said Brian Delgado, a spokesman for Park Dental, who left Lake Elmo to open his third office in Woodbury. be successful.”
a quarter of jobs in the medical sector
Community Development Director Janelle Schmitz credits the city’s long-range planning for medical migration. Schmitz said that currently about one-quarter of Woodbury’s jobs — more than 6,000 — are in the medical sector.
For cities hungry for economic growth, medical professions are highly prized. They pay high wages, the buildings are attractive, they do not pollute and they attract patients from a wide area.
“Medical professions are very desirable from an economic development perspective,” Schmitz said.
The city has become a regional attraction for patients and more healthcare businesses.
“It’s a destination,” said Len Kaiser, chief administrative officer of Antira Family Clinics, which is expanding its Woodbury office. “A community of businesses has emerged, which are interdependent. It is a whole neighborhood of providers.”
‘Medical Complex District’
Medical development began modestly, when the city established a “Medical Campus District” around the Woodwinds Health Campus in 2007.
In a way it was a symbolic gesture. The region offered no incentives to medical businesses, no tax breaks, and no relaxation of city zoning rules. Schmitz said the medical business could have moved there or elsewhere in Woodbury. It was as if a city had just declared an “aerospace zone” and the requisite rocket launchers went in.
But apparently the area had symbolic significance. It made businesses aware that the city welcomed them, Schmitz said.
Many moved to an area of 120 acres. Medical businesses trickled in in other Woodbury locations – then flooded.
Schmitz said he’s drawn to the same factors that make Woodbury attractive for retail — access to two freeways and a wide age-range of residents. A growing population meant additional workers for businesses.
Antira’s Kaiser said household incomes are higher, and people are more likely to have private insurance — a plus for any health care provider.
The development developed its own pace. Businesses found it convenient to be located near ancillary businesses such as drug stores and supply stores.
more projects expected
The Park Dental experience is unique.
Park Dental dentist Matthew Hendrickson said the business originally opened in Lake Elmo. But from the windows of his current office, Hendrickson looks out over Interstate 94 into the medical buildings now underway in the CityPlace development in Woodbury.
They decided to make the move – although Park Dental already had two locations in Woodbury.
The new clinic opened in June. “Woodbury has a good base of patients, and it’s only going to get better,” Hendrickson said.
what is next? More medical manufacturing. Approved projects to be built this year or next year include the 748 Beilenberg Medical Office Building, CityPlace Medical III, CityPlace Healthcare Specialty Center and Heartland Dental.