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A downtown medical office is on track to be completed and open in early August.

Indianapolis-based Franciscan St. Francis Health is building a 8,709-square-foot, one-story office at 123 Second St., where the former Columbus Goodyear Tire was located.

The $2.5 million construction and renovation project began in December.

St. Francis is leasing the property from Tipton Park Offices, owned by the Becker family of Columbus.

A temporary Franciscan Physician Network-Columbus Primary & Specialty Care office opened in January at 4010 W. Goeller Blvd. until the Second Street office is complete.

Mary Benjamin, practice executive for Franciscan Physician Network, said the group hopes to have the new office open Aug. 1.

The new location will be the 65th office operating under the St. Francis Health name, she said.

“It’s just our mission to serve the community,” she said. “We have employees and a lot of business that come from Columbus.”

Local family practice physician Teresa Lovins will work at the location, which will serve as a primary care and special care facility.

Some of the services the staff will offer include basic family health needs and oncology, hematology and endocrinology services, Benjamin said.

According to information included in a tax-abatement application submitted by St. Francis to the Columbus City Council, the office will be staffed with two primary care physicians, five medical assistants and an office manager, generating estimated annual salaries of $587,000.

Future growth could include another physician, two medical assistants and an X-ray technician, adding $317,000 in annual salaries.

The tax abatement was approved by the City Council in February 2013 and means St. Francis will pay no property taxes on its improvements for the first year. The taxes would be phased in over 10 years, according to the Columbus Community Development office.

Nolan Bingham, who represents the property owner Tipton Park Inc., said the building is undergoing an extensive renovation. He said the only original piece of the building, constructed in the 1960s, will be the foundation and framing.

The renovation is being done by Indianapolis-based contractor Tonn and Blank Construction with subcontractor work by Forster Electrical Services of Columbus and Nading Mechanical Inc. of Hope.

Construction crews are framing walls, running electrical and plumbing utilities throughout the building, refinishing the roof and cutting out holes in the existing walls for new windows.

Once complete, the medical office will have a new façade, a main entrance facing the west, new patient and office rooms and a freshly paved parking lot.

Nearly 20 workers will be on site daily working to finish the renovations by the target date, Bingham said.

Bingham said the project is about 25 percent complete.

Competing Columbus Regional Health opened its downtown WellConnect clinic at Third and Washington streets in December, offering a care center for minor illnesses and immunizations, staffed by a nurse practitioner, physician assistant and three medical assistants. CRH officials said at the time that the wellness center was something under consideration well before St. Francis announced its plans.

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