The Venice City Council on Tuesday approved a zoning amendment that served as the final go-ahead for Sarasota Memorial Hospital to build its new facility in Venice.

The 65-acre site at Laurel and Pinebrook roads near I-75 had initially been zoned for retail. The vote was unanimous, coming after two public hearings.

Construction is expected to take more than two years with a cost of nearly a half-billion dollars. That includes the main hospital building, a 365,000 square foot facility with 110 private rooms and a 28 bed emergency center.