by Pete Mazzaccaro
Construction is nearly complete at the former Kurtz Construction building at Winston Road and Moreland Avenue. The transformed building – it has undergone more than $6 million in exterior and structural renovations alone – is set to open in January next year as Fresenius Dialysis Center and Delaware Valley Nephrology, a combined medical practice that will serve approximately 200 patients in the community.
Early this year, neighbors objected to the conversion of the property to a dialysis center. At the time they believed the property could be put to better use as retail or housing. Fresenius, however, ultimately gained the support of the Chestnut Hill Community Association and was granted the zoning variances it needed to begin work. Fresenius will move from its current location at 6656 Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy.
Dr. Edward Jones, owner of Delaware Valley Nephrology, said he believed the remodeled building is one of which the community can be proud.
“We’ve taken what looks like an old building and transformed it,” he said. “We’ve conformed to all requests of the community – hid the AC on the roof, provided parking off Winston Road for ambulances. Our lot is large enough that no one will be on the street We’ve planted trees.
“It’s important to be part of the community. These are our offices. We’re going to be there every day. We made it such that we want to be part of community.”
And it’s likely that Fresenius and DVN will be part of the community in another way. Jones said that chronic kidney disease affects one in nine people, making Fresenius and Jones’ Nephrology practice convenient providers for more than 10 percent of the local population – a population that will need treatment for many hours, three to four times a week.
According to Jones, those patients will find a facility stocked with some of the most innovative and technically advanced dialysis treatment available in the area. In addition to new equipment and more comfortable treatment areas (complete with flat-screen televisions) Jones said Fresenius will have self-treatment stations in which patients can come and set up their own treatment machines.
“At the same time we plan to train patients to treat themselves at home,” Jones said.
If all goes according to plan, Jones said that Delaware Valley Nephrology would begin moving into the new building on Dec. 20 and open on Jan. 5. Fresenius, he said, would open on Jan. 15.
“We’re really excited,” Jones said of the opening. “We think it’ll be a great addition to the community.”