Mercy gets design OK
Approval contingent on zoning change
Mercy Health has conditional approval for the architectural design of its planned new medical office building on Oak Point Road.
On Nov. 14, the Lorain Design Review Board voted 4-0 to approve the look of the new building.
The vote did not settle Mercy Health’s pending request for a zoning change for the office complex.
“Right now, it’s a little bit up in the air as far as site,” said board Chairman Gary Fischer, a Lorain architect. “They have not completed zoning and planning so anything that we would do today would be contingent on a final site plan as well as landscaping.”
If the zoning change is approved, Mercy Health needs to return to show its plans for lighting and landscaping, the Design Review Board members said.
The hospital has asked to change zoning from R-1A Residential to B-1 Business to build a new 30,000-squarefoot medical office center on 8.19 acres of land just west of the intersection of Oak Point Road and South Mayflower Drive.
The day before the design meeting, dozens of people packed the Lorain City Council chamber for Council’s hearing on the zoning change. Many of them spoke argued the building and added traffic are not a good fit for their neighborhood.
In the Design Review Board meeting, Fischer and board members Andrea Neal, John Keaton and Frank Sipkovsky acknowledged the furor over the location of the building. But mainly they discussed the exterior design elements.
Architect John Reyes and Project Manager Greg Deitz
of contractor STAR Design-Build Contractors spoke about the building, while Ryan Brady of Brady Signs talked about the illuminated and unlighted exterior signs.
The Design Review Board members noted the facility would sit in a residential area.
“It looks good, the color scheme,” Neal said. “I like the concept of the mounds also because of the area you’re going to be in with the residential around it and trying to cultivate a more inviting setting to appease the neighbors.
“I think it’s very professionally done,” she said. Neal later called it something the community should be proud of and suggested the hospital add a walking trail around the land to make it more usable for residents.
The facility mainly will be a doctor’s office, not a hospital open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Reyes said. There could be a walkin care center for health issues, but the new facility will not have an emergency room, Deitz said.
The 30,000-square-foot building will be one story, mostly in shades of gray with blue accents. It will be about 18 feet tall at its main parapet, with rises up to 19 feet and the southeast corner rising to about 25 feet.
The building would sit 75 feet off the side of the road.
The driveway would be south of the building and directly across from South Mayflower Drive.
The parking lot with 158 spaces would sit west of the building, so patients and staff would park behind the building as viewed from the road.
The west side of the building also would have an overhanging canopy for drop-offs and pickups the main entrance of the medical facility.
On the east side of the building, a retention pond would sit between the building and road, according to plans. There would be landscaping mounds north and south of the building.
The facility would have lighted signs stating “Mercy Health” with the hospital logo on the east and west sides of the building. A pedestal sign at the entrance would include a three-footby-six-foot illuminated LED sign message board.
The LED sign would have an automatic dimming feature based on available light, Brady said. It would be brightest at noon but would dim at other times, he said, and could be programmed to shine during business hours but shut off at night.
“It’s not going to be 100 percent all the time where you’re, you know, you’re blinding motorists, or if you have a residential community that’s nearby, you’re blinding in someone’s window,” Brady said.
“The expectation is to not overdo it at nighttime,” he said.
The trash container boxes or screens will be built of masonry that matches the building.