MPN’s is handling commercial leasing of the redeveloped space.
MM Partners is a few months away from completing a $24 million conversion of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital at 1600 W. Girard Ave. in the Francisville neighborhood of Philadelphia into an apartment complex called the Civic.
The developer bought the property in 2017 for $8.1 million following the bankruptcy of the North Philadelphia Health System and began transforming the building in February of 2018 into residential use with retail space.
During the past two decades, developers have turned their eye toward redeveloping closed hospitals, giving new life to these once-thriving medical centers with multimillion-dollar conversions that preserve their presence and their impact on communities. Several dozen private hospitals have shut their doors in the Delaware Valley over the last three decades. In most cases, the closures are a reflection of hospitals and health systems’ drive to become more efficient and effective – though bankruptcies also account for a number of the cases.
Hospitals are typically anchors and major economic and social engines in their communities, and a closure often means a local loss of jobs and money. But many of the hospitals that have shuttered since 1986 have found new uses. Some have been converted by health-care systems into outpatient clinics and others have been seized upon for conversions for housing and offices, giving them a fresh start, or their land developed.
One of the earliest full conversions of a former hospital began in 1992 when Montgomery County bought Sacred Heart Hospital off DeKalb Street in Norristown out of bankruptcy and turned it into office space. Haverford State Hospital, which closed in 1998 was developed into a over-55 community on the property. Metropolitan Hospital at 7th and Race streets in Philadelphia underwent a conversion into condominiums. The Medical College of Pennsylvania, which had a vast campus in East Falls, was turned into office and residential space.
St. Joseph’s totals 167,000 square feet and is being converting into 88 apartments. It will have 33,000 square feet of retail space and will bring an infusion in an otherwise commercial dead zone, said David Waxman of MM Partners. Tenants are lined up for all of the retail space but Waxman declined to disclose the names since the deals haven’t been finalized. An ancillary building used as a chapel will be leased out to a retail tenant.
“It’s a spectacular space,” said Veronica Blum of MPN Realty Inc., which is overseeing the leasing of the commercial space. It has a courtyard that will enable a restaurant to have indoor and outdoor dining.
The building has lots of amenities renters expect these days including storage, conference and game rooms, dog wash and rooftop decks. Units range from the micro at 350 square feet to two-bedroooms at 1,800 square feet.
by Natalie Kostelni, Philadelphia Business Journal
Published April 22, 2019