New hospital construction hits milestone

Gwinnett's community hospital system drew some big names in county business and politics to see its new high-tech medical center.

The five-story Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth reached a construction milestone this week.

Hundreds showed up for the event, which marked the placing of the last construction beam on the hospital's top floor.

The nearly 176,000-square-foot medical center - a replacement for Joan Glancy Memorial in Duluth - is expected to be ready by summer 2006.

High-tech hospital

With wireless Internet, bar coding technology and paperless record-keeping, the medical center was hailed by its administrator, Lea Bay, as "the most technologically-advanced health care facility on the north side of Atlanta."

Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister was on hand for the celebration. Bannister and his wife, Glenda, are listed among hospital supporters, including Wal-Mart, that donated from $10,000 to $24,000 toward its construction.

Moving on

Norcross wireless communications company EMS Technologies said it reached an agreement to sell its idle Space and Technology/Montreal division.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, of Vancouver, British Columbia, agreed to purchase the business unit for an undisclosed amount.

EMS said the deal is expected to generate enough cash to reduce the company's debt by $20 million. The company is also trying to sell its discontinued SatNet division.

More exposure

Toyota Mall of Georgia gained a 2 million-square-foot showroom - and all it took was a little ink.

The Buford dealership recently signed a two-year marketing deal with the Mall of Georgia, according to mall management. The agreement is significant because it gives the dealership - which already has a sales lot and showroom on Ga. Highway 20 - additional exposure to an estimated 12 million annual shoppers at the high-end mall.

It's not the first time the auto industry and Simon have forged a marketing alliance. Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, another Simon-owned mall, reached a similar deal with General Motors' Cadillac division. Last year, a local BMW dealership turned the former Mall of Georgia FAO Schwarz store into a showroom. Sagon RV also displays its vehicles next to Dick's Sporting Goods, a logical spot to reach outdoor-lovers.

Doug Sams can be reached via e-mail at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.