A $430 million cancer center on New Haven’s Park Street came one step closer to reality last week when the state Office of Health Care Access approved the plan, saying the new facility would keep Connecticut residents from having to leave the state to seek care.

Yale-New Haven Hospital, which is proposing the center, still needs to go before several city boards, including the Board of Aldermen, according to Vin Petrini, spokesman for the hospital.

“There are just a number of approvals we still need to get,” he said.

The new nearly 500,000-square-foot, 14-story building would be next to three other hospital buildings and would improve the hospital’s cancer care by putting it all in one place, rather than in several different facilities, as it is now. The hospital also has proposed a $40 million garage and a $60 million medical office building on sites owned by the city, according to the Associated Press.

The new building has been designed by Boston architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott and will include several amenities like a boutique for cancer patients, a health education library, a meditation center and a rooftop healing garden for patients and their families, according to Petrini.

Norman Roth, the hospital’s senior vice president of administration, told the AP that the ruling by OHCA was a critically important milestone, but said he is still concerned about delays at the city level. The hospital wanted to start construction this month, but city officials say it could take until the end of the year for approvals to go through. The hospital submitted applications to the city six months ago, according to Petrini.

There have been discussions about issues like traffic and parking surrounding the new center, but Mayor John DeStefano believes the new center is of critical importance for the community, according to his spokesman Derek Slap.

“He feels like it’s essential,” Slap said of the mayor.

Despite the inevitable controversy and delay that accompanies most big developments, the construction of the center is very likely to move forward.

“I think everyone wants to see this happen,” Slap said.

According to documents from OHCA, the new center, which will include operating rooms, state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and 112 new beds, is necessary because the area population served by the hospital is expected to increase by 6.6 percent by 2009 compared to 2000. The expected increase will especially bring up the population of those 65 and older, who make up six of 10 new cancer patients.

In the agency’s summary of its decision, OHCA said the new development will mean that, “Patients will have access to the most up-to-date treatment modalities and diagnostic and treatment equipment. Care will be provided in comfortable surroundings with adequate patient privacy. The proposal will bring appropriate access to high quality cancer and related services for residents of its service, residents of Connecticut and residents of surrounding states. The benefit to patients will be higher survival rates, lower mortality and morbidity, fewer complications and readmissions after discharge, decrease in infections, improved functional outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.”