Emory University on Friday ceremoniously broke ground on a musculoskeletal facility in Brookhaven’s Executive Park, where officials hope to eventually build a $1 billion medical complex.

The 180,000-square-foot building will be the university’s newest addition to the Executive Park area, which is already home to several Emory medical departments.

Emory also unveiled new renderings Friday showing the massive and modern facility.

The musculoskeletal center — where researchers will focus on studying bones and muscles — will include “advanced features designed to improve patient experience, elevate the quality of staff work environment, and integrate clinical and laboratory research,” Emory said in a statement ahead of the groundbreaking.

» RELATED: Emory plans huge medical development in Brookhaven

“From the location choice to architecture design to staffing, the formation of the Emory Musculoskeletal Institute directly aligns with Emory Healthcare’s mission to serve humanity by improving health through integration of education, discovery and health care delivery,” Jonathan S. Lewin, the president and CEO of Emory Healthcare, said in a statement.

Lewin, Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, Emory President Claire E. Sterk and Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center Director Scott Boden were set to speak at the afternoon event.

The building will be environmentally friendly and LEED-certified, Emory said. Construction is set to be completed in the first half of 2021.

An initial design plan for Emory’s new complex in Executive Park. The musculoskeletal facility can be seen labeled with the initials MSK. (Photo: Courtesy of Emory University)
An initial design plan for Emory’s new complex in Executive Park. The musculoskeletal facility can be seen labeled with the initials MSK. (Photo: Courtesy of Emory University)

Around the facility, Emory eventually hopes to develop a sprawling medical complex, which could include a 140-bed hospital, a hotel, offices, more research buildings, green space and miles of walking trails and paths.

» READ MORE: Emory, Brookhaven disagree over condition for I-85 pedestrian bridge

Their request to rezone the properties, which total 60 acres, is currently being reviewed by Brookhaven Planning Commission. The complex is part of Emory’s long-term growth plan and could be gradually built over the course of 15 years, Emory officials said.

City staff initially said they wanted Emory to construct pedestrian bridges over I-85 and North Druid Hills Road as conditions for the rezoning approval.

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