Boston Medical Files Master Plan With City, Carries Over Building Projects

Boston Medical Center (BMC) filed notice of its 10-year Institutional Master Plan (IMP) and has started the public vetting of the outlined program – with a first City meeting on Dec. 11.

Although many of the projects in the IMP are carryovers from the previous IMP – project that never came to be – the plan still raises eyebrows in that it calls for the construction of more than 600,000 square-feet of space. An IMP filing is required every 10 years by institutions like BMC.

“A lot of that 600,000 square-feet is carryover and there are two carry-over buildings,” said Bob Biggio, senior vice president of facilities. “One is an administrative building by the Power Plant site on Albany Street. The other is the phase two in creating additional capacity at the Dowling Building (on the corner of Albany and Mass Ave). The vast majority of the 600,000 square-feet is carryover that is already approved with planning done previously.”

Another big emphasis will be on bringing services into owned buildings and eliminating leases wherever possible.

“Some of the new project in the IMP are designed to replace leases we have currently,” Biggio said. “We would like to get into ownership and out of leasing. We anticipated these new projects will be on the back end of the 10-year plan.”

The previous 10-year IMP focused on consolidating the campus further towards Mass. Ave, and with some success in building the Shapiro Building, realigning the emergency department – while selling off the Doctors Office Building and 85 E. Newton St.

“For the last 10 years, the focus has been consolidation of duplicative services, centralization of clinical services, and alignment of complementary use adjacencies,” read the IMP.

“The next 10 years will build upon these successful strategies with a continued focus on its facilities to support BMC’s mission and its new accountable care model,” it continued. “As a result, campus modifications will be necessary over the next 10 years, including but not limited to, constructing new facilities, leveraging underutilized real estate assets, managing expiring leases, demolishing obsolete buildings, renovating existing structures, and improving infrastructure for energy efficiency and resiliency.”

Within that, there are two new buildings that come as part of an analysis of the old and aging buildings on the campus. Many of the buildings are underutilized and in need of repair, such as Vose Hall and the Preston Family Building on East Newton Street and Stoughton.

“That is a very old facility and really not situated to be used for much of anything,” Biggio said. “That building would be torn down and replaced with a building of about 100,000 sq. ft. Part of that building will be used for leases that we will eliminate. It would mostly be used for growth in administrative and dry lab space.”

Dry lab space is research space that focuses on analytics and data research, rather than the traditional chemistry lab with experimentation.

A second proposed new building in the plan comes on Albany Street behind the BU Dental School. Biggio explained when the state bought the Newton Pavilion, it came on a 99-year ground lease and BMC retained the right to take bank the “ramp space” behind the dental school if it wanted to build a building. That would be an approximately 207,000 square-foot administrative and clinical building that would help to coordinate services with the Shattuck Hospital when it takes over the Newton Pavilion.

“We believe we might want to do that within the 10-year plan,” he said. “We anticipate there could be associated work that might make sense to be located adjacent to the Shattuck program.”

Other rehabilitation projects:

•Sixth floor addition to the Yawkey Building. Approximately 15,500 square-feet for women’s health services.

•Menino and Yawkey Lobby Addition. Construct approximately 6,000 square-foot foot entry and lobby addition to improve circulation to ant through the buildings. It would expand the ground level retail and the cafeteria.  BMC will study whether or not to reconfigure the vehicle operations on BMC Drive.

•Menino ninth Floor addition. Construct 37,000 square-feet vertical addition to support inpatient volumes and the homeless population.

•Collamore/Old  Evans Building. Renovate 102,000 square-feet of obsolete administrative space.

Biggio said the approach for this IMP would be within the same vein as the last, improving the streetscape and making things more presentable for the community.

“We want to work very hard to create a plan that not only meets the needs of BMC, but also that of the community,” he said.

“I think we did a good job on that with Albany Street,” he continued. “I think 10 years ago Albany Street was uninviting and unwelcoming. I think that’s changed and we want to continue that philosophy with this Master Plan.”

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