Campus-like medical area comes to Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2003

For land developer Harold Speir, developing plans come from God.

The old adage &uot;God helps those who help themselves,&uot; can be seen at work.

Speir is the developer for a 77-acre plot of land just south of Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

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In just three years an undeveloped area of land has been transformed into a blooming medical district. Selma Nephrology Associates, the Selma Heart Institute and Dunn Nursing Home are just some of the names listed on a map of the area in Speir’s office.

Thirty-two acres have been sold. Businesses already have open doors at some sites while other plots have construction occurring. Unsold sites are mainly untouched. Speir said he’d like a drug store at one of the sites, but noted that it would require someone willing to build one there. Speir is in the developing business, not construction. &uot;I just think it’s a good place for one,&uot; he said, pointing to the intersection on his map.

But who can tell God’s will?

When Speir purchased the land in 2000, it was a low area. Speir brought dirt from off-site to fill the area. &uot;I started putting the dirt in, and it became desirable.&uot;

He wasn’t kidding. Mutual Savings Credit Union bought a plot in April 2000. The Selma Heart Institute followed suit in October 2000. Dunn Nursing Home bought its acreage in January 2001.

According to Speir, a good plan for developing is to sell about two lots first. That provides enough money to build the infrastructure. Infrastructure includes sewer, water, drainage, streets and gutters, to name just a few.

From there, the development evolves. Speir and potential buyers work together to determine how much land is needed. Lots aren’t set in stone, but instead are cut into sections a buyer wants to purchase.

An overall vision, though, is maintained.

Speir pointed to the area’s campus-like feeling. &uot;It’s not buildings set up in concrete, jammed all together,&uot; he said.

Instead, businesses are spaced far enough apart to allow adequate parking, yet close enough together that someone could walk from one to another. Speir said he’d eventually like to see one road connect to the hospital’s parking lot. That would allow nursing home residents not only quick access to nearby doctors’ offices, but also the hospital itself.

Additional plans include more doctors’ offices and garden homes. However, Speir’s part of the development is mostly complete. &uot;People need to buy,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s done now.&uot;

Few items remain on Speir’s checklist, including the resurfacing of Park Place. Otherwise, it’s just helping potential buyers choose a plot. &uot;We’ll work with the buyer,&uot; he said, &uot;with where they want to go.&uot;