Ground Breaks on $220M Rehab Facility at Boston’s Charlestown Naval Yard

Integrated health care system Partners HealthCare is behind the development, which will yield a 240,000-square-foot building to replace the existing 40-year-old rehab center on Nashua Street.

October 12, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Writer

Work has gotten underway on the New Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a $220 million healthcare facility that will make its home at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

Integrated healthcare system Partners HealthCare is behind the development, which will yield a 240,000-square-foot building to replace the existing 40-year-old rehab center on Nashua Street. The new hospital will occupy Navy Yard Parcels 6 and 7, which were transferred to Partners HealthCare in 2004 by the Boston Redevelopment Authority 26 years after the organization had acquired the decommissioned military property.

In addition to 132 private patient rooms, the new facility will offer increased clinical and research space, an auditorium, additional education and conference space and an aquatic center. Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the project will facilitate the transformation of a brownfield at the Navy Yard into a greenfield, and will feature a rooftop garden and extensive public open space. Additionally, Spaulding Rehabilitation has been conceived to surpass all accessibility standards as outlined by the current Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, thereby serving as a model for Universal Design.

Development of the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital will generate over 300 new construction jobs.

During the economic and financial downturns, hospital development did not experience the same pummeling that caused projects in, say, the office and retail real estate sectors to come to a halt or be scrapped altogether. As FMI Corporation, a construction industry management consulting and investment banking firm, notes in a second quarter report, while healthcare construction will continue to be flat for the most part, it will remain at a historically high level. Behemoth projects that have recently gotten underway or hit milestones include the $230 million Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, where construction commenced in September, and Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, where city officials recently announced that the $754 million development is below budget and on track for its scheduled year-end 2013 delivery.

Government hospital development, partially boosted by stimulus funds, seems to have continued without a hitch, providing the construction industry with project after project over the last couple of years. Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selected a contractor for its $800 million Denver VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado and broke ground on its 1.5 million-square-foot replacement hospital in New Orleans.