San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hospital CIMA in Guanacaste Breaks Ground

Construction on Hospital CIMA in Guanacaste is officially underway. On Monday, the ceremonial shovel was driven into the ground to inaugurate the first stage of the hospital and medical office construction, which will eventually become the first-ever integrated residential and medical services facility in Guanacaste.

Pacific Plaza, which carries a $125 million price tag, is expected to be a six or seven stage development with a targeted completion date around 2018. According to CIMA, the first stage of construction requires a $15 million investment and will include the hospital, a helicopter pad, a 3-story tower with 42 medical offices, six local businesses, a pharmacy and a food court. This stage should be ready in July 2011.

“CIMA will be the first private medicine Joint Commission International (JCI) certified hospital in the Guanacaste area,” said Lou Aguilera, coordinator of Pacific Plaza-CIMA. “We will offer an acute care hospital with the same specialties you could expect in any major city medical plaza, such as cardiology, radiology, orthopedics and gynecology. We will also have digital imaging that allows images to be transferred from our San José location to Guanacaste.”

According to Aguilera, the additional five or six phases will include construction of residential condominiums, independent residences for senior citizens, patient residences, a shopping center, a hotel and a community recreation center. The aim of the PacificPlaza is to create a retirement community with access to medical care within walking distance.

“The PacificPlaza project represents a model of a planned retirement community with the highest living standards to North Americans, which is our principal market,” said Jorge Woodbridge, the minister of competition under President Oscar Arias. “It is a new concept for us, where tourists and retirees can receive continued care through all the stages of aging.”

The construction of PacificPlaza is beginning 10 years after Hospital CIMA, a private hospital, opened its doors in Escazú, west of San José. The new development is expected to cover 220,000 square meters and will provide 400 jobs.

–Adam Williams

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