Following a Request for Qualifications issued late last year, UMC has narrowed their list of contenders to five: Hord Coplan Macht, Land Design, Inc., RTKL, Beyer Blinder Belle and Perkins Will –SMWM. Once a final selection is made in the coming the weeks, the chosen architects will work side-by-side with UMC to re-imagine the hospital’s surroundings with new medical offices, mixed-income housing, affordable senior or veteran’s housing, community space and ancillary retail. According to representatives of UMC, they’re in the early planning stages of a development scheme that will be a boon to both greater Ward 8 and the hospital itself.
“We are focusing on the immediate needs of the hospital for the campus. This is the only hospital east of the river and we need to make sure it offers the same healthcare choices that people living on the other side already have available. Additionally, we need to enhance the lives of the surrounding community, which is desperate for retail. Banks, drug stores and restaurants have already approached us about space on the UMC Campus,” said Noah Nordheimer of UMC. “You have a large hospital sitting the middle of the site that’s not going anywhere...We just need to build around it, enhance it and enhance the community.”
Formerly known as Greater Southeast Community Hospital, the facility was acquired by Specialty Hospitals of America in 2007, the parent company of CMC Realty – a move funded in part by $79 million approved by the DC City Council “to help with the purchase, buy equipment and improve infrastructure.” Additions to the hospital itself, including construction of a new MRI Center, continue at this time, but according to UMC, the parties “would like to have a shovel in the ground within 12 months” on the mixed-use component of the redevelopment initiative.
UMC will be holding private meetings with potential architects and their teams over the course of the next months. Presentations will be publicly unveiled at a community forum currently scheduled for May 6th at the United Medical Center Auditorium.