Tag: largo medical center

Largo site is front-runner for new hospital in Prince George’s

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is backing a selection committee’s recommendation that a Largo site be chosen for a new, $654 million state-of-the-art regional hospital.

The board of directors for Dimensions Healthcare System, the nonprofit organization operating four hospitals in Prince George’s County, will discuss the recommendation during its meeting today.

“The selection committee will recommend the Largo site officially at the Dimensions board meeting,” Baker spokesman Scott Peterson said Wednesday. “This is the selection committee recommendation, not the county executive’s. Mr. Baker concurs with this recommendation.”

The proposed 280-bed hospital would replace the aging Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly.

Dimensions Healthcare also operates Laurel Regional Hospital, the Bowie Health Campus and Glenridge Medical Center in Lanham.

On Tuesday, a selection committee comprised of members from county government, Dimensions Healthcare, the University of Maryland Medical System and the Maryland Department of Health and Human Hygiene recommended the Largo site, located next to the Largo Metro station. The other contender for the hospital was the site of the former Landover Mall.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth, a Washington, D.C.-based organization promoting walkable, transit-oriented community development in the Metropolitan area, issued a statement Wednesday morning applauding the recommendation.

“Prince George’s County took a big step forward toward a more sustainable economic and environmental future with the decision to place the new regional medical center at the Largo Town Center Metro station,” Cheryl Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth policy director, said in the statement.

The Largo site is comprised of 70 acres of land owned by Oak Brook, Ill.-based Retail Properties of America, and several adjoining properties under private ownership. It is adjacent to the Boulevard at Capital Centre shopping center and the Largo Metro station.

The site is within close access to Interstate 495.

“A Metro-accessible regional medical center helps Prince George’s catalyze transit-oriented economic development and capture a larger share of the region’s growth,” Cort said in the statement. “Locating this major new medical facility at a Metro station brings both healthcare and thousands of jobs to a significantly more accessible location for county residents.”

Dimensions Healthcare announced in July that the search for the new hospital had been narrowed to two sites, the Largo site and the site of the old Landover Mall, which was demolished in 2007.

The Landover site provides bus service to the New Carrollton Metro, nearly three miles away. The Largo Metro station is somewhat closer to the Landover site, at 2.5 miles walking distance, but not directly accessible by bus.

The hospital construction is being funded through state and county government, as well as Dimensions and the University of Maryland Medical System.

 Read the original article at the Gazzette. >>

STATEMENT on Prince George’s Regional Medical Center Location Decision

STATEMENT on Prince George’s Regional Medical Center Location Decision

Coalition for Smarter Growth Policy Director Cheryl Cort issued the following statement commending Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker for his decision to place the new regional medical center at the Largo Town Center Metro Station:

“Prince George’s County took a big step forward toward a more sustainable economic and environmental future with the decision to place the new regional medical center at the Largo Town Center Metro station.  We congratulate County Executive Rushern Baker, his partners at the University of Maryland, and the state in this wise decision.  Locating this new state-of-the-art healthcare complex at the Largo Metro station fulfills the Executive’s often stated intention to leverage the value of the county’s 15 Metro stations. We applaud County Executive Baker and his team for negotiating this exciting deal on behalf of county and area residents.

A Metro-accessible regional medical center helps Prince George’s catalyze transit-oriented economic development and capture a larger share of the region’s growth.  Prince George’s Metro stations are among the county’s most important assets for attracting new businesses and residents. Locating this major new medical facility at a Metro station brings both healthcare and thousands of jobs to a significantly more accessible location for county residents. We welcome the new regional medical center at the Largo Metro station and anticipate it will anchor a vibrant new mixed use health district, or maybe even a downtown for the county.

In addition, building the medical center at Largo means more transportation options for employees, visitors and patients which also means less traffic for Prince George’s residents.

Along with the clear economic development benefits of a Metro station site, this decision shows that county leadership is listening to its residents. Through emails, petitions, and call, thousands of residents told county officials that the Largo Metro station was the preferred site while hundreds came out to a community meeting in February to express the same thing. We commend the County Executive for making this a true community decision.”

About the Coalition for Smarter Growth

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at www.smartergrowth.net.


Two sites remain in running for Prince George’s regional medical center

Two sites remain in the running for a new, $645 million regional hospital in Prince George’s County to replace the financially ailing Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly and create a full-service medical campus.

The board of Dimensions Healthcare System, which oversees county-owned medical facilities, voted unanimously Thursday to send letters to Maryland health officials endorsing Largo Town Center and the shuttered Landover Mall as possible locations for the hospital.

The move buys officials a little more time to negotiate with representatives of the sites. The board’s chairman, C. Philip Nichols Jr., said he expects a final decision by September.

Plans call for the 259-bed hospital to be part of a full-service medical complex and trauma center, offering high-end specialities and general care. There would be offices for private practices, a parking garage and possibly classrooms for medical professionals who also might train at nearby Prince George’s Community College in Largo. The hospital, expected to open in 2017 as part of the University of Maryland Medical System, would serve Prince George’s and Southern Maryland.

Officials hope the medical complex will attract paying patients with health insurance and provide more primary care to residents of the majority-minority county.

Studies show that Prince George’s residents suffer disproportionately from diabetes, heart disease and obesity, and there is a shortage of primary-care medical practices.

The Dimensions board acted on recommendations from a search committee whose members include representatives from the University of Maryland Medical System, Prince George’s County and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Before choosing Landover Mall and Largo Town Center, the search committee examined properties around the Morgan Boulevard Metro station and Woodmore Towne Center shopping center, said Bradford L. Seamon, a Dimensions board member, search committee member and top aide to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). But the committee rejected those sites because of their locations and because they had multiple owners, making it difficult to assemble enough land.

The committee’s deliberations are not open to the public.

Now the search committee is looking into cost, availability, the potential for future development, and whether roads, sidewalks and other infrastructure would be needed, he said.

“We are still continuing to negotiate, and we want to negotiate with two sites to come up with the best deal. At this point, I don’t want to talk numbers,” Seamon told the board.

Although officials of the University of Maryland Medical System had urged the search committee to find at least 100 acres, Seamon said committee members now believe that the hospital itself could be built on four or five acres of a 25-acre medical campus.

The two sites in contention each have advantages, Seamon said. The Largo site, at the Boulevard at Capital Centre, is on 70 acres of county-owned land next to a Metro station and close to the Capital Beltway.

There is an additional 30 acres in adjacent parcels owned by two private developers.

The 88-acre Landover Mall site is nearly vacant — only a Sears store remains. It is close to the Capital Beltway and about 11 / 3 miles from the Largo Town Center Metro station. Landover Mall is owned by the Lerner family, which also owns the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Cheryl Cort of the Coalition for Smarter Growth is pushing for Largo Town Center but said Landover Mall is ripe for redevelopment.

“It is crying out for something to happen at the mall,” she said. “But something as important as the hospital should not be so far from transit.”

Douglas M. Duncan, the former Montgomery County executive who is representing the Lerners, declined to comment.

Eventually, the University of Maryland Medical System is expected to take over Dimensions Healthcare but will not bear any of the costs.

Plans call for a new company — New Dimensions — to float $450 million in bonds, with its $200 million debt service paid by the state. Separately, Prince George’s would float $200 million in bonds.

Click here to read the original story>>

PG planners propose bold new smart growth future

Prince George’s County has diverged from its smart growth goals, says the county Planning Board in a searing assessment. The board says residents have a choice: push for more transit-oriented development and walkable communities, or “be resigned to business as usual.”

Largo Town Center. Photo by the author.The board released a policy paper called How and Where We Grow as part of an update of the county’s 20-year plan for growth and development. It offers aggressive proposals to tame sprawling, scattered development and focus public resources at Metro stations and priority urban centers.

While official plans and rhetoric say transit-oriented development is important, land use trends show a different story on the ground. The county must recommit to managing its growth in a sustainable way by preserving open space and focusing development around Metro stations, says the board. Otherwise, the county will remain a place known for bedroom communities, underutilized Metro stations, and weak job growth.

Members of the public can offer their input on the county’s future at a day-long town meeting next month.

Prince George’s is at a crossroads

“Prince George’s County is at a crossroads,” the Planning Board states. “Will we choose bold action or business as usual?”

The document recounts how the 2002 General Plan vision for growth and land use fell short of its original goals over the years. Without commitment to a new direction, the county can expect more spread out development, continued failure to capitalize on the promise of transit-oriented development, and lagging investment to spark revitalization of communities inside the Beltway.

Tier boundaries from the Prince George’s County General Plan.Between 2002 and 2010, residential growth in the county departed from the General Plan by spreading out into over 6,400 acres of the “Developing Tier,” a rapidly suburbanizing area outside the Beltway. The lion’s share of the county’s development occurred there, including 73% of residential and 60% of commercial growth.

In the “Developed Tier,” inside the Beltway, growth lagged. It fell short of goals by capturing 25% rather the hoped-for 33% goal. However, what was built there consumed just 5% of the county’s land area.

Development in the pipeline, which has been approved but not yet built, promises more of the same. More than 79% of residential units in the development pipeline are single-family detached houses in the Developing Tier. Yet according to the Planning Board, demand forecasts show that more than 60% of the new housing units to be built should be multifamily units located in walkable communities at transit-accessible locations.

All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.How and Where We Grow points to the costs of these growth patterns: spread-out development at densities that are difficult to support with quality transit or retail services, long commutes, and a future as a bedroom community to the region. Over the past 40 years, a third of the county’s open space, agricultural, and forested land were converted to low-density residential development. The loss of open space has fragmented natural areas and undermined the agricultural economy.

Furthermore, the board notes that the county has attracted the fewest number of new residents of an area jurisdiction from 2000 to 2010. “Without recalibration of county priorities and policies that promote TOD [transit-oriented development] and high-quality, mixed-use development,” the paper says, “it is likely that the county will be at a continued disadvantage to its neighbors when it comes to attracting residents and employers who value the connectivity and amenities that other such communities provide.”

The county needs a unified vision

The board notes that the structure of county government undermines unity and fosters internal competition through the lack of at-large council members on the county council. “While the County Executive can focus and coordinate resources, the nine different Council members, oftentimes with nine different priorities, it is difficult to agree upon a single vision for the county,” says the paper. “In practice this means that public dollars get spread across the county, instead of being concentrated in a few places to make a truly significant impact.”

A “clear mismatch in stated goals and actual infrastructure investment” emerges when assessing the county’s transportation spending priorities, the board finds. There’s also far more commercial and mixed-use zoning than the market can support. The paper notes that the county’s weak commercial tax base makes it a challenge to compete for employers or have the financial resources to address community needs, like crime and poor schools.

Given these tough observations, the planners put forth a realistic agenda for the future with this set of specific recommendations aimed at leveraging existing infrastructure:

  • Define density targets and growth goals for the tiers to shift the focus of development to the centers and the Developed Tier.
  • Make a stronger commitment by targeting new growth to the Developed Tier and increase the growth objectives for the tier.
  • Locate the new hospital center and key government functions at a transit-oriented development location.
  • Reduce the backlog pipeline development (which can linger for decades). Prioritize and phase development by requiring bonding for infrastructure improvements. Also use the water and sewer process to more aggressively discourage greenfield development.
  • Prioritize and fast track building permits in targeted areas (County Council is currently advancing a bill to do this).
  • Revise surcharge fees for schools and public safety, encourage development in the Centers and Developed Tier by reducing fees, and phase growth in the Developing Tier through fee increases.
  • Adopt new zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations. Ensure they are supportive of the General Plan goals, including encouraging transit-oriented development.

The planning board’s honest, stern assessment of the county’s challenges and practical list of reforms offer the chance for Prince George’s County to change its ways. County leadership has shown some appetite for meaningful reforms. At the request of the county council and executive, the state delegation enabled the county to reduce fees for developments around Metro stations during the last Maryland legislative session.

The County Council is also advancing a bill to expedite development review for projects close to Metro stations. Meanwhile, the debate over where to locate the proposed Regional Medical Center has shifted away from expansive open sites to parcels around the Largo Town Center Metro station.

However, the county’s spending priorities still reflect business as usual, with a focus on building costly intersections for new communities like National Harbor and Konterra instead of investments to enhance access to transit stations or improve bus service. Expensive sprawl-supporting highway projects remain high on the county’s wish list for state funding, such as roads to support the 6,000-acre greenfield Westphalia development located outside the Capital Beltway and miles from the nearest Metro station.

Despite the mixed and sometimes contradictory priorities pursued by the county, the Planning Board and staff are making waves by pointing out the costs of continuing old ways that will allow the county to fall further behind.

Check out the Plan Prince George’s 2035 website, and plan to attend the half day town meeting on June 15 beginning at 9:30 am at the University of Maryland College Park.

Photos courtesy of Greater Greater Washington.

Read the original article here >>

Over 1,000 Prince George’s Residents Request Placement of New Hospital at Metro Station Petition Presented to County Executive Baker

UPPER MARLBORO – Today, the Coalition for Smarter Growth delivered a petition to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, urging him to choose a Metro station site for the planned Regional Medical Center. Over 1,000 Prince George’s residents signed the petition. “The petition demonstrates how many people in our county want the new medical center at a convenient Metro site,” said Coalition for Smarter Growth staff representative and Cheverly resident Reba Watkins, who delivered the petition. “As a Prince George’s resident, this issue is important to me. Right now, without a car, I have to go to Bethesda or D.C. for quality, convenient care. We can do better.” The petition adds to growing consensus that the new hospital should be located at a Metro station site.

The Regional Medical Center belongs at a Metro Station

The Regional Medical Center belongs at a Metro Station

All Prince George’s County residents have a vested interest in getting the decision right about where to locate and how to design the new county and state-supported $650 million Regional Medical Center with a workforce of more than 2000 employees. To leverage the most competitive healthcare benefits and economic development opportunities, we need state-of-the-art urban design at a Metro station.

Building a new Regional Medical Center at a Metro station means:

  • A regionally transit-connected center of medical excellence that can attract the best in class workforce using a walkable urban design that integrates into the surrounding context;
  • Less traffic, more access for workers, and more convenient access to quality healthcare for everyone, including individuals who must rely on transit;
  • Jumpstarting other quality mixed-use development, delivering a big economic boost for Prince George’s and the surrounding area.

Largo Town Center Metro station is the best option

  • Largo Metro has a vacant 20 acre site (old parcel D) just east of the entrance owned by PNG Schwartz that already has 1 million square feet approved for a federal HHS office building on just half of the site (Commons at Largo). 20 acres is plenty of room for a state-of-the-art hospital and medical office buildings. The 69-acre Boulevard at Capital Centre is on county owned land and could be part of a larger medical complex in the future.
  • Largo Metro station has ample vacant land, multiple roadway connections, rail & bus service, nearby retail, office and residential uses.
  • Combined with a pedestrian-friendly urban design, a hospital center could drive economic development as an anchor for a mixed-use destination and downtown district for Prince George’s.
  • The medical center can be sensitively located in the existing community around the Largo Town Center Metro station to manage traffic and ensure that existing residents will have improved access to the Metro, nearby services, offices, and new jobs.

Why the 2 non-Metro sites would be a major missed opportunity for the county

  • Both the Woodmore Towne Centre and the Landover Mall sites are located a mile and half from the closest Metro station – too far to walk & too far to leverage Metro access for more transit-oriented economic development.
  • Far from Metro, Woodmore Towne Centre is a sprawling 245-acre, automobile-oriented, outside-thebeltway greenfield site that hasn’t been able to attract the investment it promised.
  • Landover Mall needs reinvestment but its distance to a Metro station and lack of connectivity to a mixed-use district makes it a poor candidate for a competitive Regional Medical Center.
  • These sites would generate more traffic since it would be difficult for anyone to access the medical center without a car.


Coalition for Smarter Growth: Sign the petition & learn more at smartergrowth.net/PGmedicalcenter

Where will Prince George’s hospital go?

Smart growth advocates have applauded Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s commitment to support new projects near the county’s 15 Metro stations, but as the county executive considers the best place to put a new $650 million regional hospital, he is making them nervous. Baker plans to hold a forum Feb. 28 at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex to begin vetting four possible sites for the hospital. Two of them, the shuttered Landover Mall and the newly built Woodmore Town Centre, are nearly three miles from a Metro station in locations that require pedestrians to cross a Capital Beltway interchange. To the pro-transit crowd that has backed Baker as he presses the federal government on the importance of locating agencies near Metro stations, choosing either site would be a mistake.

Hospital case studies point the way for Prince George’s

What’s the difference between a hospital that’s a springboard for economic development, and one that’s not living up to its potential? Answer: Design, location, and connectivity. Local groups compiled a set of case studies to point the way as Prince George’s County moves forward with its proposed Regional Medical Center.

Image from ZGF.The new hospital is an important healthcare facility for the county, and as an employer of 2,000 workers, it can also catalyze economic development in an area where new investment has lagged.

Hospital officials are rumored to be interested in a sprawling 80-120 acre suburban-style site away from Metro, likely the old Landover Mall site. The sponsors of the case studies hope that these examples of great hospitals, designed by leading architectural firms, can help decision-makers understand the benefits of a more mixed-use, compact and transit-oriented site.

Matrix of case studies. Click to view full size.Envision Prince George’s Community Action Team for Transit-Oriented Development, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and American Institute of Architects Potomac Valley collected the design case studies. They provide examples of mid- to large-scale hospitals with footprints of 1.5-48 acres. In fact, larger hospitals (measured in number of beds) are at the lower end of this range of acres, while the smaller hospitals tended to occupy more land area.

While Prince George’s continues to pursue additional federal offices (like the new FBI headquarters), a new $600 million medical center could be one of the best opportunities to jump-start transit-oriented development at one of the county’s 15 underutilized Metro stations.

In contrast to courting federal agencies, the state and county control the decision about where to locate and how to design a new medical center. Not encumbered with stringent federal security requirements, a regional medical center offers a better opportunity to connect to surrounding uses and fuel spinoff economic activity than an FBI or Homeland Security building.

Why a smaller, urban footprint?

Hospitals must plan for growth, and a working “rule of thumb” for traditional suburban or rural 200-bed hospitals (similar in size to the Prince George’s facility) is a minimum of 40 acres. This footprint provides a suburban or rural site with room for the initial building, associated drop-offs, parking, and room for future growth. Growth is common in medical facilities, whether for outpatient clinics, specialty centers, or the hospital itself.

Seattle Children’s Hospital. Photo from ZGF.Hospitals in a more urban context plan for similar growth, but within sites that are typically 10 acres or less. This smaller footprint offers several benefits over a suburban medical campus. Connecting a hospital center to a larger mixed-use environment where people can work, shop, and live helps attract and retain highly sought-after skilled healthcare workers. By better integrating into the surrounding community, an anchor institution like this can support a vibrant, walkable, thriving new hub.

Designers also point to sustainability benefits from a more urban design and context. A limited footprint disturbs less land and reduces the heat island effect. Placing a more compact medical center in an urban hub also allows for more environmentally-friendly transportation choices with frequent transit service, and walk and bicycle options for short trips. Driving and parking will remain an important mode of access, but a more urban hospital allows for lower parking supplies, greater access for those who do not have a car, and the choice to take some trips on foot or by bicycle.

While a footprint of 10 acres may seem small compared to a suburban campus of 40 acres or more, hospital complexes around the country and beyond are developing successful, busy hospitals on sites as small as a few acres.

The just-released case studies of 11 successful moderate to small-footprint hospitals of comparable size to the planned Prince George’s regional medical center share 3 common success factors: access, flexibility for future growth, and a connection to the surrounding environment.

Success factor: Access

An important factor for any healthcare facility is convenient and easy access to and from the site. High-quality public transportation, stores and services, and housing within walking distance create opportunities for staff and visitors to get outside the hospital while still being nearby, and enable some to come and go without having a car.

Access to Champ de Mars medical center. Image from CannonDesign.Several of the examples in the report show major hospitals that are integrated into city blocks. Hospital staff and visitors have easy access to a local services and transit options. For example, the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center is a 448-bed hospital, 7 stories tall situated on 3 acres of land. Within a block is the Red line light rail station and major bus routes.

GWU hospital entrance. Photo from Smithgroup JJR.Closer to home, the 6-7 story, 371-bed George Washington University Hospital occupies 2 acres. The front door of GWU Hospital opens onto the busy entrance of the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station and is embedded in a thriving urban district that mixes health, university, private office, retail and housing uses in a highly walkable, transit-accessible environment.

Medical facilities woven into the fabric of a larger mixed-use district served by transit can have an advantage when competing for medical professionals who desire to be in a lively, diverse place, and need flexibility with their commutes in a two-worker household.

Success factor: Flexibility for future growth

While suburban hospitals are typically designed with extra acreage to accommodate future growth, urban medical centers can anticipate similar growth, but plan smartly within a more constrained footprint.

Main entrance, American Hospital Dubai. Image from AECOM.Planning a smaller-footprint facility guides planners to take into account their overall surroundings, making better use of pedestrian connections to the surrounding community and supporting services. In the case of both the vertical high rise addition to Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, with the 260-bed Bunting Center inpatient hospital on 1.5 acres, and the 350-bed American Hospital Dubai campus on 11 acres, planning for growth accounted for the sites’ larger surroundings.

The hospital designers from AECOM point out that an urban design and location provides significant advantages in offering the ability to walk to a nearby restaurant to avoid yet another meal at the hospital cafeteria or the convenience of staying at a nearby hotel for someone visiting a sick relative.

Success factor: Connection to green spaces

Numerous studies show that access to outdoor places and views of green spaces create a state-of-the-art healing environment. But urban hospitals don’t need to concede healing green features to their suburban and rural counterparts. Roof gardens, courtyards, and natural light are all achievable in small-footprint hospital centers.

Roof garden view, Bunting Center at Mercy, Baltimore. Rendering from AECOM.The centerpiece of the Bunting Center at Mercy Hospital healing environment is a multilevel roof garden, accessible on various floors and overlooked by room occupants above the midway point along the rise of the building. The 9th floor garden offers direct access from the ICU waiting room.

On the 28 acre campus of the 600-bed Seattle Children’s Hospital, 41% of the campus is dedicated as open space. Pedestrian paths are provided throughout the facility to promote walking and offer outdoor connections.

Innovative design and urban context show the possibilities

The 11 case studies offer examples of innovative architectural design, connectivity to the surrounding context, access to transit, green features and compact footprints. These features highlight how a regional medical center for Prince George’s and Southern Maryland could establish a new leading healthcare facility that not only attracts the staff and patients it needs to succeed, but fits into a larger district that thrives on the influx of activity.

Photos courtesy of Greater Greater Washington. Read the original article here.

Hospital design case studies showcase benefits of  urban design and community connections for new Prince George’s Regional Medical Center

Hospital design case studies showcase benefits of urban design and community connections for new Prince George’s Regional Medical Center

new set of case studies [PDF] highlights how important urban design, community connections, and transit access could ultimately be to the long-term success of a new Regional Medical Center in Prince George’s County. The hospital design examples are from leading national and international architectural firms, including AECOM, Cannon Designs, ZGF, and Smithgroup JJR. Local organizations the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Potomac Valley, Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Envision Prince George’s Community Action Team for Transit-Oriented Development compiled the examples to illustrate the benefits that innovative urban planning, connectivity, and accessibility to transit resources would add to the healthcare and economic opportunity that the new medical center represents for the county.