DaVita expanding its dialysis operation in Columbus area

New center on the way in Columbus and Warm Springs, with newly built relocation in Phenix City New center on the way in Columbus, Warm Springs

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comJune 28, 2013 

New center on the way in Columbus, Warm Springs

By TONY ADAMS

tadams@ledger-enquirer.com

DaVita HeathCare Partners, a Denver-based company that operates kidney dialysis centers across the United States, is opening its fourth office in Columbus. It is also relocating its Phenix City location to a new site, and building another facility in nearby Warm Springs, Ga.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Oman-Gibson Associates, which specializes in constructing smaller medical offices, is the general contractor on the projects.

"Our niche is small, free-standing ambulatory-type medical, like cancer centers, dialysis centers, urgent care centers, office buildings," said OGA project manager Charles Watkins.

DaVita currently operates dialysis centers at 1216 Stark Ave., 6228 Bradley Park Drive and 1200 Brookstone Centre Parkway in Columbus, as well as at 1900 Opelika Road in Phenix City.

OGA has started construction on DaVita's new south Columbus center at 2401 Shelby St., with work on the 6,138-square-foot facility expected to be completed in early November, said OGA project manager Sam Sarbacker. The price tag on that project is $1.8 million.

The Phenix City center is being relocated from Opelika Road to 4391 Riverchase Drive, near Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital, Watkins said. Construction on the 9,165-square-foot facility should be finished in January, with the cost of that one pegged at just over $2 million.

The Warm Springs center, meanwhile, is now under construction, with the 4130 White House Parkway facility likely to be completed by mid-December, Sarbacker said. The cost of that 6,379-square-foot structure is just under $1.7 million.

Watkins acknowledged his company is seeing growth in dialysis centers. The National Kidney Foundation estimates there are 26 million American adults who have chronic kidney disease. Millions of others are at increased risk of developing the potentially deadly illness, the organization says.

"I think when you look at the trend in diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, things like that, those are some of the risk factors for getting on dialysis," Watkins said. "So with the increase in those types of diseases, we have seen an increase in the need for dialysis."

DaVita HealthCare Partners, a publicly traded company, is certainly growing. Aside from the local dialysis centers, OGA in its lat

est round of construction is also building facilities in Indianapolis, Jasper, Ala., Roscommon, Mich., and Bluffton, S.C.

In May, DaVita said it had reached "milestones" of owning or operating more than 2,000 centers, with its workforce topping 50,000. The company also said it is expanding into primary and specialty centers that treat patients with chronic illnesses.

The company reported $30.1 million in net income on total revenue of $2.8 billion in the first quarter of this year. It provided 5.6 million treatments or lab-related services in the January-March period, up 8 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

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