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Inova prepares for major expansion of Franconia health complex

Inova Health Systems still hopes to begin construction on its planned Franconia-Springfield expansion in 2023, even after encountering delays in Fairfax County’s rezoning process.

The nonprofit health care provider spent more than $40 million in 2020 to acquire property in a residential area near its Inova HealthPlex at 6355 Walker Lane, turning the site into a 21-acre campus.

To accommodate the development, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors initiated a process in February 2021 for amending the county’s Comprehensive Plan. However, a scheduled public hearing on the proposed amendment before the planning commission is currently deferred, with a new date yet to be determined.

First announced in May 2020, the project is part of a region-wide overhaul by Inova to expand access and services, improve facilities and reinvest its nonprofit resources. Construction on an Alexandria expansion began in November.

The existing 145,000-square-foot health care complex in Franconia will remain, but three six-story medical buildings will be added to the site, under Inova’s proposal.

Plans call for two new towers with 425,000 square feet of space combined and 125-150 hospital patient beds, as well as the relocation of an emergency department, allowing the facility to provide other services, according to Tim Sampson, a land use attorney representing Inova.

The expansion also includes a 140,000-square-foot outpatient center and parking garage.

“The existing HealthPlex will be fully integrated into the new campus,” spokesperson Tracy Connell said in a statement. “The ER will move to the hospital and that space will be filled with another medical service.”

At a later point, a hospital wing and an approximately 80,000-square-foot office building could be added.

Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said at an online community meeting last September that the expansion would serve the area’s need for more beds and facilities.

If the project gets the county’s approval, Inova expects construction to begin next year and finish in 2027.

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