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Atrium Health Approved To Build 30-Bed Hospital In Cornelius

Erin Keever

Atrium Health has received state approval to build a new hospital in Cornelius, the Charlotte-based hospital system announced on Monday. The facility, called Atrium Health Lake Norman, will have 30 beds and two operating rooms and is expected to open in early 2024.

The 160,000-square-foot building will cost approximately $154 million, Atrium said in a news release. It will be constructed at the southwest corner of U.S. 21 and Westmoreland Road. That area was once slated for a massive mixed-use project called Augustalee until it went into foreclosure in 2009.

Ken Haynes, president of the Greater Charlotte Region for Atrium Health, said in the announcement that the health system is “thrilled” to be able to move forward with its plans.

“With the population growth that has been taking place, this new hospital is a key piece of our mission to better meet the needs of residents in the area,” Haynes said.

Atrium has been seeking approval from North Carolina’s Division of Health Service Regulation for the Cornelius hospital for nearly two years. To build a new hospital or add hospital beds to a facility, health care providers are required to submit a certificate of need to the agency.

Atrium initially applied for state permission in the fall of 2019. Its applications have since been denied twice. According to Atrium, the hospital system will not increase its overall number of beds. Instead, the Lake Norman beds will come from Atrium’s other locations. The approved certificate of need is not yet available on the state’s website.

The new Lake Norman hospital will compete with Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville and Novant Health Medical Center in Huntersville. Those facilities, according to their websites, have 123 beds and 91 beds, respectively.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.