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Top Local Business Stories of the Week


HOSPITAL GROWTH

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center plans $58 million expansion: St. David’s South Austin Medical Center said it plans to start construction this year on a $58 million expansion that will mean added facilities, increased services and new jobs.

The project will include expanding the hospital’s emergency department, adding patient rooms and beds and creating additional parking at the medical center, 901 West Ben White Boulevard.

Construction is expected to start in mid 2017 and wrap up in early 2019, Steward said.

“To support the increased services resulting from this expansion, the hospital will initially hire 50 new full-time employees, with the expectation that the number of positions will double within five years,” Todd Steward, chief executive officer of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, said in a written statement.

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health care systems in Texas. The hospital has about 300 beds and employs about 1,650 people. The majority of the new jobs will be nursing and other patient-care positions.

Originally, the capital investment for the project totaled $50 million, but the amount increased by $8 million to include an expansion of the existing parking garage, hospital officials said. St. David’s officials are evaluating several options that could result in six to seven new parking garage floors and 560 to 718 new parking spaces.

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is in the “construction design phase” of the expansion project, a stage that includes developing construction documents and architectural plans, and submitting a site plan to the city of Austin.

With growth in areas including oncology and trauma at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, as well growth in South Austin generally, “the hospital was in need of an expansion,” Steward said.

“As the region grows, it is important to have more physical space to serve our rapidly expanding patient population,” Steward said. “This expansion underscores the demand for health care that exists in the South Austin community—and how we’re planning and building to meet that demand.”

COMEY CANCELS

FBI director Comey calls off SXSW appearance: FBI Director James Comey has canceled his highly anticipated interview at the South by Southwest conference this year, citing schedule conflicts that will keep him in Washington, D.C.

FBI General Counsel James Baker will take Comey’s place at the Monday session. Baker will have a conversation with Jeffrey Herbst of Newseum. SXSW organizers said.

“While director Comey is now unable to attend, we’re still really excited that this important conversation will take place,” Newseum CEO Jeffrey Herbst said in a written statement.

Comey’s plan to make an appearance at SXSW was a bold move for the FBI director.

Comey was criticized by Democrats for his decision to announce a second investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails shortly before the November election.

When SXSW first announced the decision to bring Comey to SXSW for an on-stage interview in late January it provoked a strong reaction on social media. There were calls to protest his interview or boycott all of SXSW. But others said they were eager to hear Comey explain his decision.

Baker is expected to tackle many of the same topics Comey would have discussed, such as the intersection of national security and technology.

VENTURE FUNDING

Austin’s TurnKey raises $21 million to continue growth: A year ago, Austin’s TurnKey Vacation Rentals raised $10 million to expand its vacation rental management service.

After a year of fast growth, the startup the past week announced that it has raised an additional $21 million.

Founded in 2013, TurnKey provides an online service that handles the process of renting out a vacation home, from marketing it on sites like HomeAway and Airbnb to sending a cleaning service when guests leave.

The lead investor in the new round of funding was Adams Street Partners of Chicago. Existing investors including Altos Ventures and Silverton Partners also participated. The new money brings to company’s total capital raised to $41 million.

TurnKey will use the funding to break into new markets, add listings and accelerate development of its mobile technology platform.

“TurnKey is setting a new standard for the private accommodations industry, and we’re excited to partner with the management team,” said Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments at Adams Street Partners.

TurnKey is in 40 markets, most of them popular tourist destinations such as Aspen, Colo., Palm Springs, Calif., Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Sarasota, Fla. It also offers services in a handful of larger metro areas such as Austin and Seattle.

At the end of last year, TurnKey had about 1,800 properties under management. The company plans to double the number of properties this year.



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