Axis Health System purchased the old Mercury Payment Systems building at 150 Mercury Village Drive for $18 million and expects to use the new location for patient care beginning in 2024.
The 81,380-square-foot building was purchased from James Coleman, the managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners, which owns Purgatory Resort.
Coleman purchased the building for $9 million in December 2021, a price “considerably” lower than the fair market value by $6 million, according to La Plata County Assessor Carrie Woodson.
Tracy Reynolds, structural architect and principal engineer at Reynolds Ash + Associates, said then that Coleman planned to use the space for commercial, office and residential uses.
Axis Health System has sought a new location to house the majority of its services in Durango for years, said Haley Leonard-Saunders, spokeswoman for the nonprofit. Its corporate office is currently stationed in Bodo Industrial Park, and four other offices are located around town.
Axis Health aims to offer a “one-stop shop” to its patients and customers by bringing clinical services together in the same facility, she said. About 160 Axis Health staff members will occupy the building by the time it opens for services. In addition to housing primary care, behavioral health, dental and administration services, the nonprofit will open a new pharmacy at the Mercury Payment building, she said.
A news release from the nonprofit health care provider says the facility will prove more accessible to patients with more space for “culturally appropriate health education, improved health screenings, care coordination, systems navigation, advocacy, and outreach.”
Other health resources to be available at Axis Health’s new facility include education about diabetes and nutrition, and services for chronic disease management, vaccinations and reproductive health services, the release says. Outreach services and insurance enrollment assistance, support for non-English speakers, and transportation and care coordination for families and people facing homelessness will also be consolidated at the Mercury Payment building.
Axis Health’s crisis continuum services such as detox, walk-in crisis, mobile crisis services and a respite program will continue to be offered at the nonprofit’s Crossroads facility on the Mercy Hospital campus, Leonard-Saunders said.
“The nice thing about this location is that pulling all of these services into a centralized location in Durango really promotes the idea of community-based care,” she said. “And having all of those services under one roof, whether you’re going to multiple appointments in one day or just having the awareness those services are available to you, (the location) can just overall improve health and wellness.”
The building wasn’t designed with health care in mind, so construction and renovations must be done along the lines of building new walls and organizing rooms for operatory uses, she said.
Axis Health is working with Nunn Construction and RTA Architects to design and renovate the Mercury Payment building. Axis Health appeared in a Jan. three Durango City Council meeting packet that contained a traffic study being prepared by RTA Architects, although at that time the purchase of the building was not complete or guaranteed.
Shelly Burke, Axis Health CEO, said in the release the acquisition of the Mercury Payment building is the completion of a long-term goal to consolidate clinics and services on a primary health campus that can “scale with the organization and the community’s needs.”