Ground Broken on $800 Million Vision Northland Project

Essentia Health expansion is the largest private development in Duluth's history

DULUTH, Minn. – Ground has been broken on an $800 million hospital development in Duluth. Essentia Health’s “Vision Northland” project is the largest private development in the city’s history.

Buildings on the Essentia Health campus will start being demolished over the next few weeks to make room for a new twelve-story, 900,000 square foot medical center.

“This will be a complete new bed tower starting here on Second Street and Fourth Avenue here in Downtown Duluth and then extend two blocks down to Superior Street,” described Essentia CEO Dr. David Herman.

Essentia caregivers tell us the project will change the way medicine is practiced across the region.

“It will allow us to be more efficient, more effective, and more collaborative. It will allow us to provide the latest treatments,” said Dr. Robert Erickson, gastroenterologist at Essentia Health.

The new tower will replace most of Essentia’s existing Duluth campus. It will include hospital beds, surgical suites, and clinic space.

“We will be stacked on top of each other rather than further away to make communication and transport much, much easier,” said Herman.

Essentia Health plans to spend $800 million on Vision Northland.

Meahwhile, nearby St. Luke’s  is planning a $300 million expansion.

Plus, the city of Duluth is getting nearly $100 million in the latest state budget for streets, parking ramps, and other infrastructure improvements in what they call the medical district.

“I hope it spurs other projects, which I think it will, including affordable housing in our community and I hope we can see further advancements when St. Luke’s makes their investment as well,” said Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth) at the Vision Northland groundbreaking.

Construction for the Essentia Health expansion is expected to start this fall.

The new hospital tower is expected to be completed in fall 2022.

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