The owner of Trident Medical Center has set its sights on rapidly developing Johns Island for a new health care facility.
An affiliate of Nashville-based HCA Healthcare recently paid nearly $20 million for 55 acres through multiple transactions on several parcels along Zelasko Drive between Maybank Highway and Cane Slash Road, according to Charleston County land records.
The property will become part of Trident Health, which is owned by HCA, according to a spokesman.
Christina Oh, president and CEO of the local system, which includes Trident Medical Center and other facilities in the Charleston area, said the region’s population is growing and Trident is looking to expand its services to island residents.
“As our community continues to rapidly grow, we look to respond by bringing needed health-care services to areas that are underserved,” Oh said. “James and Johns Island residents routinely have to drive 30 or more minutes to reach the care they need.”
She said Trident Health “can help fill that gap.”
Oh provided no timetable or cost for construction of a new facility on Johns Island.
“We look forward to working closely with community leaders and neighbors to get their ideas on what they need in their backyard,” Oh said.
In addition to the 321-bed Trident Medical Center in North Charleston, Trident Health also includes the 124-bed Summerville Medical Center and three freestanding emergency rooms at Brighton Park in Nexton, Centre Pointe near Tanger Outlets and Moncks Corner Medical Center.
The 135-bed Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro also is owned by HCA, a for-profit company that’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
HCA affiliate Johns Island MC LLC paid $17.2 million for almost 48 acres on 10 parcels last fall, according to the commercial real estate firm NAI Charleston, which represented the seller.
The sellers of most of the land were affiliates of the real estate development firm EYC Companies of Charleston, according to land records.
HCA also bought five smaller neighboring parcels in separate transactions from four individual landowners for a combined $2.28 million, according to recently recorded deeds.
The assemblage of several parcels, across from live Oak Square Shopping Center, extends along most of Zelasko Drive.
Johns Island has undergone rapid growth in recent years, especially with the booming housing market and influx of new residents to the Charleston region.
Several new housing developments as well as new retail and restaurant sites have sprung up in recent years on the island that’s partially in the city of Charleston.
About 23,000 people live on the island, according to the 2020 census. Roughly 12,000 of those reside inside Charleston city limits, according to city spokesman Jack O’Toole.
Part of the health care provider’s purchased acreage is zoned for uses such as a business park and general office development. The rest of it is not currently zoned, according to Charleston’s zoning map.
On the eastern side of Johns Island near the upscale communities of Kiawah and Seabrook islands along the coast, the Medical University of South Carolina is building a new facility.
MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion will be at 1884 Seabrook Island Road down the street from the Harris Teeter-anchored Freshfields Village Shopping Center.
The healthcare provider’s website says double-digit population growth is anticipated on the sea islands over the next five years with a growing percentage of residents in the area over the age of 65.
“This growth, along with the islands’ geographic isolation, demographics and community health profiles, has created an urgent need for additional health care services in this part of the South Carolina Lowcountry,” MUSC says on its website.
MUSC says the new medical facility will provide “access to life-saving medical care in a new free-standing Emergency Room, with trauma rooms, fast-track triage, full CT scan and radiology services, full lab services and helipad.” The site also will offer primary care and outpatient services.
The $24 million project is expected to complete construction by 2023, according to MUSC when it announced the development last summer.