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Hospital CEO Defends Proposed Expansion Plans

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The CEO of Overland Park Regional Medical Center says that the hospital's planned expansion will not decrease property values as some area residents claim.

The Overland Park City Council is considering the proposed expansion to the hospital, which would include a new 700,000 square foot building and a three-story parking garage.

Neighbors claim that the proposed expansion would bring the building to within 50 feet of their backyards. Darby Trotter has lived next to Overland Park Regional for 30 years. He told FOX 4 earlier this week that there won’t be any longtime homeowners in the future if the hospital expansion puts a five-story building where the parking lot now meets the grass.

“It’s coming up closer to these homes and everything that these people treasure in terms of their  backyard space and their homes will be completely destroyed,” Trotter said. “It would be a huge monstrosity sitting in your backyard and nobody would buy that house.”

But Overland Park Regional Medical Center CEO Damond Boarwright says that just the opposite is true.

"(The expansion) will inject $120 million into the city," said Boatwright. "The jobs are shovel ready from day one. New jobs, tax revenue, we believe this will increase property values, not decrease property values."

The city council is expected to decide on the proposed expansion next month. If approved the hospital says that they would break ground four to six months later.

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