NASHVILLE - Hospital giant HCA is relocating the headquarters of two of its business units to midtown Nashville in a move that could bring as many as 2,000 jobs to one of the largest commercial office developments in the city's history.
HCA's Parallon Business Solutions and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute will anchor two new high-rise office buildings to be constructed on a vacant property on the city's West End Avenue.
The development represents a $200 million investment in Nashville by developer Alex S. Palmer and Co.
The two health care companies now employ about 1,000 people in Nashville and nearby Williamson County. HCA says the companies expect to double their current workforce within five years, employing nearly 2,000 workers at average salaries of $85,000-$90,000 by 2017.
"It's impossible to overstate the value of HCA to Nashville and to Tennessee," Gov. Bill Haslam said during the announcement.
HCA owns Parkridge Medical Center, Parkridge East Hospital and Parkridge Valley Hospital in Chattanooga.
Haslam said Nashville's reputation as a center for the health care industry began with HCA. The growth and expansion since then has "solidified our reputation as a great place to do business."
The governor said he believes the best way to grow jobs in Tennessee is through the companies that are already here.
"My first words to (HCA CEO and Chairman) Richard (Bracken) were, 'We won't take you for granted,"' he said.
Haslam also praised the quality of the jobs that are expected to be created.
"All jobs are not created equally," he said, "and these jobs average near six figures."
State incentives for the project include $7,500 for each new employee.
Metro Nashville will offer another $500 per employee plus a tax abatement. Mayor Karl Dean said even with the tax abatement, the city will be collecting more than it currently does for the site. He also expects the project will spur new growth around the two buildings.
Bracken said the two companies could have been located almost anywhere in the country, but HCA chose Nashville because, "this is home for us. We don't want to go anywhere else."
HCA was founded in Nashville in 1968 as one of the first for-profit hospital chains.
The company says its facilities provide nearly 5 percent of all inpatient care in the United States. Its operations include 162 hospitals and 112 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and England and employ about 199,000 people.
Parallon Business Solutions provides services to health care providers that include group purchasing, staffing management, supply chain services, project management, revenue cycle management and technology solutions.
Sarah Cannon Research Institute is focused on advancing therapies and drug development in oncology and cardiology through a network of more than 700 physicians in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.