St. Luke's Hoping Tax Program Helps New Morningside Medical Plaza

St. Luke's is planning on opening up a new facility in Morningside, and adding 13 new jobs in the process is just a bonus.

The need for out patient hospital services is going to grow by 30% over the next 10 years, and St. Luke's is hoping its newest medical center will help keep up with that demand.

It's just an empty field right now, but in a years time an empty lot on Sunnybrook drive will be transformed into the newest branch of St. Luke's Regional Medical Center.

"It feels like you plan and plan forever and then you start hitting certain milestones and the pace picks up and it's pretty exciting," said Chad Markham, Vice President of Clinics & Network Development for St. Luke's Health System in Sioux City.

It's the Sunnybrook Medical Plaza, an 86,000 sq. ft. medical center.

When it's complete, it'll be full of doctor's offices, the St. Luke's imaging center, other lab services and even a pharmacy.

Before that $26 million medical facility can spring up in this empty lot in Morningside, St. Luke's is asking the city for an agreement that would help cover some of those costs.

"These kinds of facilities tend to have very high paying jobs, and the targeted jobs program is designed specifically to encourage the retention and creation of high paying jobs in Iowa and in Sioux City," said Marty Dougherty, Sioux City Economic Development Director.

St. Luke's is asking the city to be part of a "Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit Program."

Basically it's an agreement that would amount to more than $3 million dollars in tax credits for St. Luke's over the next 10 years, helping the hospital create 13 new jobs and keep more than 90.

"It takes a lot of people to make, a lot of very educated, fairly well paid people to make health care run," said Markham. "And so it helps provide those services in an area of town where there aren't a lot of medical services today."

As St. Luke's builds for the future, filling 17 acres with Morningside's newest medical center.

The city will vote on that tax agreement Monday.

If it passes, groundbreaking on the building should happen sometime this June, and construction should be finished by next summer.