Sharing the ‘Hope.’ Plans to revitalize former hospital campus the next step in helping West Rome recover from closings that cost nearly 1,000 jobs.

Sharing the ‘Hope.’ Plans to revitalize former hospital campus the next step in helping West Rome recover from closings that cost nearly 1,000 jobs.

Jeff Mauer, president and CEO of Global Impact International, talks about the Hope Village concept and what it would mean for those in need in the community — and for revitalizing the former hospital campus. Hometown photo.

 

The announced plans for Hope Village — a strategic reuse of the long-idled Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital campus to help those with mental health, substance abuse and other issues — were widely celebrated on Wednesday. There are many bridges to cross in the next year in order for Jeff and Mary Margaret Mauer’s latest miracle to be realized but the outlook is good.

One key number mentioned at a inaugural briefing for stakeholders provided another level of hope for West Rome: 330 new jobs or perhaps a significant dent in more than 750 jobs lost when the state suddenly announced it was closing the hospital to meet mandates from federal officials. That news came too soon after  CCH-Small Firm Services announced its own plans to vacate West Rome, with dozens and dozens of more jobs sent south on I-75. Directly and indirectly, 1,000 or jobs were gone.

The Hope Village concept comes as other ventures are signaling renewed interest in the area — and new jobs, again denting losses from almost a decade ago. Some of those updates:

Coosa Valley Credit Union new main office at 1307 Redmond Road at the site of the former Northwest Georgia Credit Union (background of photo). The credit union hopes to open at the new location in early 2020. It is a relocation but also allows room for continued growth for the regional financial center.

A March 15 photo of The Spires’ site. Much has changed in six weeks.

The Spires at Berry College is rising on college property off the Bypass. Valued at more than $120 million, The Spires will feature  170 independent living units as well as 107 health care suites for assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care. The Spires, with a 2020 opening date, will mean not only opportunities for Berry students but off-campus residents as well.

Harbin Clinic‘s new medical office building at the corner of Woodrow Wilson Way and John Maddox Drive.  The plan is for “the majority of medical care for women and children to be located in this new building, including Ansley Park Pediatrics, Harbin Clinic Women’s Center and Harbin Clinic Pediatrics,” the clinic announced in a recent release. It will join two other Harbin medical office buildings on adjoining acreage.

Crews at VIP Express were busy Monday readying the store to open. Hometown photo.

VIP Express: The new convenience store is all but open, with a sign now at the intersection of the Bypass across from where the new credit union office is planned. Look for a deli (Chester’s chicken!) as well as regular convenience store provisions and gasoline. While much smaller than its new neighbors, VIP still represents a $3 million to $4 million investment in the area (land, building and inventory).

Other neighborhoods in West Rome continue to see new business — some mixed with idled storefronts, we know. What’s new or on the way:

  • Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen next to Winslette Pharmacy.
  • RaceTrac will build across from the still-near Jack’s Restaurant off Shorter Avenue.
  • The damaged former Popeye’s location has been rebuilt as a new Burger King and another fast-food option is said to be targeting the old BK spot.
  • Even some of the vacant spots are filling again. Among the newest is Hot Wings Etc., branching out to Redmond Road in a spot that has seen a couple of concepts in recent years.

 

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