Essentia Health has purchased five properties near its downtown Duluth medical campus that will be removed to create space for a parking ramp..

The properties’ proximity to Essentia Health’s replacement hospital tower and clinic makes them suitable, said Mark Hayward, Essentia Health’s senior vice president for operations. The new parking ramp will be linked to the Vision Northland facility, which is now under construction.

The buildings in the 300 block of East First Street include two duplexes, one triplex and two small apartment buildings. Hayward said Essentia Health is working with residents to help them relocate.

Next month, Essentia Health will demolish one of its parking ramps, which has 483 spots, to build the new hospital and clinic. A new parking ramp is needed to offer safe and convenient access to the new facility for patients, visitors and staff.

Last May, the Minnesota Legislature approved a public infrastructure funding package that included a parking ramp on the west end of the new Medical District. Essentia Health has been working with the City of Duluth to develop a plan for that ramp, which could also serve the nearby Arts and Theater District and downtown Duluth.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the city on solutions that meet the many needs of the community and Essentia Health,” Hayward said.

Essentia Health is building a replacement hospital tower, clinic space and surgical suites along Fourth Avenue East from East Superior Street to Second Avenue East. The $800 million project is under way and the facility is expected to open in the fall of 2022.