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Cornelius News

Atrium gets final OK for new hospital in Cornelius

Rendering of Atrium Hospital in Cornelius

March 7. By Dave Vieser. As expected, the Cornelius Town Board unanimously approved rezoning for the $150 million, 38-bed Atrium Cornelius Hospital at their meeting March 6. Groundbreaking is expected to be in May.

Construction will take between up to 18 months.

“The addition of a new Atrium Hospital in Cornelius is a great enhancement to serving the complete medical needs for the entire Lake Norman region,” said Mayor Woody Washam. “I am grateful Atrium chose our town for this important addition to their growing network of medical providers.”


The plans specifically call for a 282,000 square foot hospital with a maximum height of six stories on the former Augustalee property west of Hwy. 21/Statesville Road and south of Westmoreland.

Accompanying the hospital, will be similar in style to Atrium’s new hospital in Stallings, will be several medical office buildings and associated accessory facilities totaling approximately 90,000 square feet. The plan approved by the town will require Atrium to build a number of road improvements to handle the anticipated additional traffic, including turning lanes at the Westmoreland Road/Statesville Road intersection.

A second phase will be added at a later date and would contain approximately 100 additional beds, if approved by the state.

Atrium’s response

Bill Leonard, president of Atrium’s University City hospital, said they are “very happy” with the location in Cornelius.

Bill Leonard | Atrium

“Based on our current census, if this hospital was open today, it would be full. It should be a tremendous asset to medical care in this region,” he said.

Current conditions at the site

Utility relocation work has begun at the site, which members of the Cook family sold to an Arizona developer for $34 million. Walt Rector planned a large mixed-use development before the real estate collapse around 2007-2008.

At the hearing Martha Jenkins stated that she was born and raised on the site and received assurances from Atrium that there was sufficient power available from Energy United for the hospital project. With tears in her eyes she told the Atrium team members that “they have pristine property. Congratulations.”

In other action, the commissioners:

Sgt. Jeff Connors

—Recognized Sgt. Jeffrey Connors who retired from the Cornelius Police March 1. Sgt.

Connors has been with Cornelius PD since 2003, serving as a patrol officer, community policing sergeant and background investigator.

Connors earned the Distinguished Service Award for his exemplary service to the department, contributions to programming and professional excellence.

—Approved the purchase of six pickleball nets and the resurfacing of Torrence Chapel Park courts. The total cost is $30,000 and will be funded through the use of general fund balance. Pickleball continues to increase in popularity throughout the area.

Appointed Jana Ritter to the Town Parks and Recreation Commission. Ritter’s term will run through January 2026.