SANTA ROSA ? Ten Santa Rosa surgeons have finalized leases in the former Redwood Credit Union building near downtown Santa Rosa for what will soon be a centralized outpatient surgery center.

The project is the combination of efforts from two existing medical groups and three independent surgeons that will provide a variety of outpatient surgeries. The two buildings at 1701 and 1739 Fourth St. were purchased from the credit union through a limited liability company formed by investors specifically for the purpose of developing the surgery center.

The 4th Street Medical Building Partnership LLC, which includes some of the doctors, has rented the space to the three groups who plan to begin operations as early as Jan. 1, 2009.

Northern California Medical Associates is the master tenant and will use a portion of the total 28,000 square feet for its business and administrative offices as well as relocate four surgeons to the site.

Also included in the deal, Santa Rosa Head & Neck Surgery will relocate to the center and take about 5,300 square feet for three surgeons. The group performs a variety of services on the ears, nose and throat and currently works from an office at 2451 Summerfield Road. In addition, three independent surgeons who work at hospitals in the county will locate in the center. They will come together in the new building as the Advanced Surgery Institute.

?The idea really evolved out of a need for our doctors to have their own surgery space,? said Ruth Skidmore, chief executive officer for Northern California Medical Associates. ?It?s an opportunity for them to have ownership in the building and have their clinical offices and surgeries in the same location. Most hospitals don?t allow them to have ownership.?

The NCMA is a coalition of 44 physicians in private practice in about 20 locations in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties. Ms. Skidmore said the group is in the process of expanding, though it is focusing primarily on adding primary care doctors.

The space is currently going through extensive remodeling and tenant improvements. It is located about a mile from Highway 101 and half a mile from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

?This will put us in a good position for expansion,? said Dr. Stefan Zechowy, a Santa Rosa Head & Neck Surgery doctor. ?We are trying to recruit more doctors, and we would also like to add more services than our current space will allow us.?