Yakima Valley Farm Workers to open clinic in Sunnyside this fall

New buidling starts OK’d by city in May valued at $10.5 million

The 6,500 Sunnyside-area residents who receive health care at Yakima Valley Farm Workers clinics scattered around the valley will have a shorter commute by this fall.

That’s because the agency plans to open an urgent care clinic in Sunnyside.

“We’re shooting for an August opening,” says Gina Popovic, senior communications manager for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinics.

According to building permit documents from the city of Sunnyside, the clinic will be located in a former office space at 2680 E. Yakima Valley Hwy.

The $265,000 project received building permits last month and is described as tenant improvements and an addition to the rear of the building for a clinic.

Popovic says clinic officials are still finalizing details for the Sunnyside urgent care clinic.

“We have 6,500 patients who live in Sunnyside, who have to travel to a different health center,” she says. “This may not be a full health service center, but it’s a place to go instead of the emergency room. Life doesn’t always make appointments.”

She says the new clinic here will be especially important for patients receiving care through the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic network. Popovic says it’s about assuring “the continuum of continuing care.”

She adds, “I think folks are going to be interested in this.”

In a busy month for city planners, the new clinic is just one of the high profile building projects that was greenlighted in Sunnyside during May.

There are building booms, and then there are building explosions.

The city of Sunnyside enjoyed the latter last month with a combined estimated valuation of $10.5 million for 37 new building starts permitted in May, including the new Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.

That total is more than three times the valuation of new building starts during the first four months of this year combined.

The bulk of May’s building valuation spurt came from a perfect storm of three large projects that had been in the review pipeline for several months or even years. All happened to receive thumbs up in the same month.

Leading the way was the long-awaited $4 million YV-Tech Skills Center at 437 Barnard Blvd. According to permit documents, the building will house classrooms and a welding shop to help high school students develop job skills.

Also last month, Sunnyside’s $3.3 million fire station project finally got off the drawing board.

The other large project in May was a 9,600 square-foot expansion at Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, 617 Scoon Rd. The new addition has an estimated value of $2.2 million.

Combined, the three mega projects generated nearly $67,000 in permit fees for the city of Sunnyside.

By contrast, the other 34 new building starts green-lighted in May had a combined value of nearly $1 million, resulting in about $18,000 worth of fees for the city’s coffers.

Among those were two new three-bedroom homes in Aho’s Harvest Village development: one at 1315 Pear Lane valued at $168,995 and another at 1612 Bountiful Lane valued at $169,417.

The month of May also saw commercial and industrial-related construction.

Yakima Chief at 520 E. South Hill Rd., for example, got the all-clear for two projects last month with a combined valuation of just over $200,000. They included an automatic sprinkler installation and a 1,250 square-foot canopy for hop storage.

Another commercial project earning a go-ahead in May was a $40,000 remodel of the Safeway store pharmacy.

Year-to-date for 2013, Sunnyside officials have issued 169 permits related to building projects with a combined valuation of $13.5 million.

The city of Sunnyside has garnered $133,849 in fees for projects receiving permits through the first five months of 2013.

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