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Despite Real Estate Constraints, DC's Hospitals Are Building Big

While much of the focus of modern healthcare real estate has been on inpatient facilities, some of the DC area's biggest hospitals are significantly expanding their campuses. That’s what a panel of experts will discuss at the Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Real Estate Forum this Thursday, May 19, at the Four Seasons.


“The healthcare market is becoming more and more competitive, so a lot of these systems are expanding their services,” everything from pediatrics to geriatrics, says Amir Nekoumand, project executive at DPR Construction, a national firm that has extensive experience in healthcare projects.  

As demographics continue to evolve, Amir says, so do the services needed to make sure your facility can capture a strategic amount of market share.

“What we’re seeing in the DC Metro area, for example, is where there is continued population growth, [there is] more and more healthcare development," Amir says.

But a focus on outpatient care doesn't mean area hospitals are shrinking: on the contrary, many of the region's hospital systems are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into new developments that will expand their footprint, not reduce it.

Six years ago, Sibley Memorial Hospital, in the Palisades neighborhood, partnered with Johns Hopkins to provide more healthcare services in DC through a $500M expansion (above). The so-called “New Sibley,” which will open this fall, will include a $242M tower with 220 beds, 200 fully private patient rooms with accommodations for visitors, expanded medical oncology and inpatient oncology units, and a new women’s and infant’s services department.  

Nick Dawson, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub, will be a panelist on Thursday.

Inova Campus for Personalized Health in Vienna, Va.

Columbia, MD-based MedStar Health has undertaken a $560M expansion of its Georgetown University Hospital while Virginia Hospital Center, squeezed in the midst of a residential area of Arlington, is planning a modest expansion of its five-acre lot just north of the main campus.

No doubt the area’s biggest health system expansion is Inova’s purchase of the former world headquarters of oil industry giant ExxonMobil (above), 117 acres directly across the street from the main Inova Fairfax Medical Campus on Gallows Road and Route 50 in Falls Church.

Over the next four years, Inova will invest about $400M for renovations, construction and other development costs. Details about the purchase price cannot be disclosed according to the terms of the contract.

The 1.2M SF Inova Center for Personalized Health comprises 10 buildings—four nine-story buildings, five towers and a 50k SF, 22-room conference center that can accommodate 700 participants. Parking spaces are available for 2,600 vehicles, most of them underground.


This is not a hospital," says Brian Hays, VP of the Inova Center for Personalized Health. "It is not an extension of Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. It is designed to be complementary and a major component of the entire Inova Health System.”

Two of the four buildings will house outpatient services: Clark Construction is developing the new home of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. The second building will be the Inova Clinic, which will bring together healthcare specialists, such as cardiologists and rheumatologists, in one location to provide a range of medical services and tests for patients.

When it opens in 2017, the clinic will be a one-stop shop for outpatient care, Brian says. A sports medicine and health fitness center is expected to open about the same time, primarily designed to help patients recover from heart surgeries, hip and knee replacements, and other medical conditions that require mediated exercise or physical therapy, often before as well as after the surgery.

The technology building, also expected to open this summer, will house IT and incubator space for startup companies as well as educational space to train allied professionals in such fields as genetics counseling and pharmacology.

Another building, expected to open in early 2018, will be devoted to research, mostly wet labs, Brian says. The entire campus could some day have a tunnel or overpass connecting it to its neighbor across Gallows Road, a major north-south artery.

Brian's colleague, Ashley Hunnicutt, will be one of the all-star panelists at Bisnow's Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Real Estate Forum on Thursday at 7:30am at the Four Seasons. Register here.