Published: Feb 20, 2013 7:34 PM EST
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 7:34 PM EST

Bonita Springs, FL.- A big announcement is made by the Lee Memorial Health System.  President Jim Nathan said the company is moving forward with plans to build a new hospital in South Lee County.

Lee Memorial sent the request to build the 80 bed hospital located just south the Coconut Point mall. If approved, the hospital will be near the Bonita Community Health Center.

Lee Memorial sped up the plans after Lehigh Regional Medical Center said they are looking to expand their facility onto Alico Road. WINK News has learned Lee Memorial plans to take 80 unused beds from Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers and move them into the new location.

"We have been looking at our facility issues and challenges for quite a few years, we've understood the need for additional beds in our community, but we've also been challeneged with how to balance that in an economic reality," said Nathan.

Nathan said Lee Memorial purchased the land on Coconut Road years ago to eventually build a hospital. Lehigh Regional and Lee Memorial's applications to expand will be reviewed by the Agency for Health Care Administration.