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The local drive for urgent care

Castaic residents hope to reduce travel for emergencies with new medical center

Posted: February 25, 2009 12:56 a.m.
Updated: February 25, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Castaic Lake Plaza medical buildings at 31905 and 31929 Castaic Road sit empty with chain-link fence around the location.

If the newly built Castaic medical center houses an urgent care center, Castaic resident Flo Lawrence is all for it.

"We are held hostage in Castaic. You cannot leave here because it's just a parking lot for people doing holiday travel," he said.

"Not that I mind going down to Valencia, there are great doctors in Valencia, but anything that can save me the drive, I'm all for."

Castaic Universal Investors, LLC, recently completed construction of the Castaic Lake Plaza located on Castaic Road, just north of Lake Hughes Road.

The plaza features a retail building and a 15,000-square-foot medical professional office building to attract medical services such as general medicine, pediatrics, physical therapy, ob-gyn, ophthalmology, orthodontics, general dentistry and urgent care, according to a PacifiCal Development news release.

"What we think the community really needs is an urgent care center," said Peter Lund of PacifiCal Development, a project co-developer. "Castaic is a growing area with a lot of young families. If I was a parent of a young child and the child falls and breaks a leg, I don't want to have to drive 10, 12 to 15 miles to get to the nearest doctor."

Lawrence uses the Facey Medical Group in Castaic, which provides family practice, internal medicine and radiology, according to a company spokesperson.

But with two young sons, Lawrence said additional medical services and an urgent care in his own neighborhood would cut wait time during emergencies, especially during holidays when Interstate 5 traffic is bustling.

"God forbid we have to use it, but boy, would that be two thumbs up for the community?" Lawrence said. "I just had knee surgery and the doctors are all by Henry Mayo (Newhall Memorial Hospital), and it's a pain in the butt to have to drive down there when it could have been treated here in Castaic."

The center should also be good for business, Lawrence said.

"It leads to tax revenue, sponsorship for local (sports) teams," he said. "I'm pro-business. We love em' - especially doctors."
The Castaic Chamber of Commerce is supportive of the medical plaza.

"It just makes the community more self-supporting," said Latisha Smith, chamber president and nurse practitioner. "We have businesses (in Castaic) so we don't have to travel so far and we'll have medical services there."

Tenant occupancy is expected to open for Summer 2009 - just in time for Castaic Lake recreational activities, according the press release.

Developers are talking to a variety of different medical tenants, Lund said. He's likely to get an urgent care into the center if word gets out.

Smith said it's been a challenge to convince businesses in general to move out to Castaic with the risky economy. "With the economic climate it may be a little slower than they anticipated," to get the medical tenants necessary, Smith said. "We're just hoping something will break through soon."


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