Hospital expansion expected to spur growth

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A huge expansion at Rust Medical Center is expected to bring more hospital beds to Rio Rancho, and is also expected to boost business along the Unser Boulevard corridor.

The $80 million expansion project is expected to begin in June. Presbyterian Healthcare Services said this will involve building a six-story patient tower with a new cancer center and room for up to 120 more beds. The expansion will also add about 100 new jobs to Rust Medical Center’s workforce.

Rio Rancho’s mayor, though, said he doesn’t expect the growth to end with the hospital.

“What it will do, in addition, is send a very clear signal that that corridor entering into Rio Rancho has great expansion capability for other things we’re working on right now,” Mayor Tom Swisstack told News 13.

This includes building out surrounding retail and office spaces in the area of Unser and Wellspring. The developments already in the works include a shopping center that resembles ABQ Uptown, according to Swisstack.

With services for cancer patients, Swisstack also expects it won’t be long until a hotel or two is built in the area.

The hospital opened in October 2011 with 68 beds, and the plan was always to expand. Construction should be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.

Swisstack said the expansion project will bring about $4 million in gross receipts tax to the city of Rio Rancho.

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