- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The fast-growing Charleston suburb of Summerville was promised hundreds of new jobs Monday with the announcement of a $135 million medical complex just off Interstate 26.

Palmetto Primary Care Physicians announced plans for the Palmetto Health and Wellness campus in the new community of Nexton, a project that they said will create about 1,100 new jobs.

Planned for completion in two years, the first phase of the project includes two medical office buildings. There also will be an ambulatory surgery center, an emergency unit and a wellness and rehabilitation center.

Palmetto Primary Care Physicians now employs 650 clinical and non-clinical staff through 32 physicians’ offices in seven South Carolina counties.

Dr. David Castellone, the president of Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, said the complex would have more than 200 physicians in a system where all patient records can be shared electronically. He said there will also be a medical hotel where patients who don’t need complete hospital care can stay.

“It’s all going to cut down the cost of medicine quite a bit. It’s going to provide up to date medical care in a state-of-the-art facility and we’re all very excited,” Castellone said.

“Hospitals cost more because they have more fixed expenses than we do in keeping patients overnight and they have multiple departments that have to be supported by the services they provide every day. We’re not a hospital and we don’t ever want to be a hospital,” he said.

The medical complex is the latest project to be announced at Nexton, a 4,500-acre community being developed by MeadWestvaco that will have fiber optic Internet connections throughout. The technology offers wider bandwidth and speeds that are as much as 100 times faster than broadband.

The new headquarters of the South Carolina Research Authority opens in Nexton later this year as does a 320-unit apartment community. A restaurant and hotel will also open this year.

At the end of the 20-year build-out, the community is planned for 10,000 homes, including 2,000 apartments.

A new interchange is being added to Interstate 26 near Nexton, two miles west of the current interchange with US 17-A at Summerville. That will open next year.

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