NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A groundbreaking event took place Wednesday morning for a new health care facility in the Wildlight community, one of the fastest growing areas in Nassau County.
UF Health Jacksonville officials broke ground on the 40,000-square-foot medical office building, which will be a one-stop shop including primary care offices, urgent care, imaging services and dentistry.
It's something that neighbors said is needed in Wildlight, where construction is booming in the high-demand community along State Road 200, just east of Interstate 95, in Yulee.
"When something scary does happen and you need to go to the ER, you have to travel 20 minutes from here," said Tiffany Wilson, who lives in Yulee. "So, it can get scary when you're worried about somebody."
The medical complex is being built as construction is underway on 1,000 homes and apartments in Wildlight. For two years, developers have been planning and building up the new community. The new Wildlight Elementary School down the street is already at capacity and hundreds of families are expected to start moving into the area in the next year.
"The great outdoors, our A-plus rated schools, our access to jobs and transportation -- it's all right here," said Chris Corr, president of Raydient Properties.
The anticipated growth means more schools will be needed soon. That growth is something UF Health is already thinking about.
"We're going to build this one facility, but we do have the ability to expand as soon as the market dictates that," said Leon Haley Jr., M.D., CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. "So, we've already planned for that growth."
Although neighbors in Yulee are happy about the new medical center, they hope Nassau County will continue to keep a balance between commercial development and rural areas.
UF Health's new medical office building in the Wildlight area is expected to open in October 2019.