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UMMC ambulatory care center wins design OK

With minor changes, a Baltimore city review panel gave final approval Thursday to the design for a new ambulatory care center at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.

The seven-story, 107,000-square-foot center, which will focus on metabolic diseases, will be built at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Linden Avenue — across the street from the main hospital, formerly Maryland General.

The new outpatient center will be adjacent to an existing parking garage. Four floors will be added to the garage and an enclosed pedestrian bridge will be built over Linden Avenue to connect it to the main hospital.

The city’s Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel liked the overall designs for the building and the parking garage that were presented to it a few weeks ago but sent Annapolis-based architecture firm CR Goodman Associates back to the drawing board to address several concerns with the pedestrian bridge, the entrance to the building and the landscaping.

This week, CR Goodman presented those changes, which included giving the pedestrian bridge a “lighter” feel by adding more glass and trying to incorporate it better into the rest of the design. The firm also added more brick and concrete pedestrian pathways on street level, as well as more trees around the building.

Panelists made a few additional changes to the designs presented Thursday, but said the plans were a big improvement. Panel members joked with architect Charles R. Goodman about the large number of tweaks they had requested throughout the process.

“The intent is to make sure everybody is happy at the end of the day,” Goodman said good-naturedly.

Owned by the University of Maryland Medical System, the Linden Avenue hospital was renamed in June as the Midtown Campus, serving as an extension of the health system’s flagship medical center, which is located on South Greene Street.

In April, UMMS estimated that the ambulatory care center would cost about $50 million, to be split between the medical system and state allocations.