When the state-of-the-art Colonnade Medical Park opens in Bel Air this summer, Harford residents will have access to some of the most advanced diagnostic procedures in medicine today.
At least that's theview of Charles H. Shaw III, director of operations for NMR of America Inc., the New Jersey-based firm that is leasing half of the complex's 16,000 square feet of office space.
"It will have all of the diagnostic imaging technology available to physicians and patients in Harford County," Shaw said.
The 1.5-acre complex, to be built on Churchville Road at Maitland Street and Fulford Avenue, will consist of two colonial-style buildings -- one and two-story structures -- on a campus-like setting with extensive landscaping, water fountains, benches and brick walks, said project developer Clark Turner of Bel Air.
"It will keep with the colonial character of the town," said Turner, president of Clark Turner Inc. "Itwill be a real pleasant environment --something beyond anything Harford has seen in other buildings."
Turner received variances from the Bel Air Board of Appeals to proceed with the project as he envisioned, including the retaining of a parking area in the front of the buildings.
"He has done some fantastic projects," said Robert Syphard, a Bel Air town planner. "What he has done with the Colonnade is very good. The plans he came up with took more time and energy than many builders would have given."
Two buildings on the property will be demolished and construction on the complex will begin as soon as Turner receives building and other permits. The complex is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy this summer.
NMR has leased the one-story facility for its Colonnade Imaging Center, which will provide CAT scan, nuclear medicine, routine and fluoroscopy mammographyand other diagnostic services.
Shaw said about 20 people will work at the facility.
Tenants are being sought for the remaining office space. Turner said he envisioned six to eight physicians occupyingspace in the two-story building.
Describing the complex as a "major financial investment" for NMR, Shaw said the company chose the BelAir site because of its central location and because Harford County is viewed as a "very attractive" location for setting up health-care services due to recent population growth.
He said the firm will market services at the site as more convenient for Harford residents who now travel 45 minutes to an hour to Baltimore and Towson for diagnostic services.
"We will have brand-new, state-of-the-art equipmentthat is unavailable in Bel Air now," he said.
In addition, the facility will provide a 24-hour turnaround on reports and diagnostic interpretation for physicians and patients.
Shaw said NMR has established a Physician Advisory Committee to support, guide and recommend clinically related decisions at the facility.