Martha Jefferson Hospital looks for new developer

Martha Jefferson Hospital (MJH) recently announced the grand opening date for its new facility on Pantops: August 28, 2011. The current location of MJH’s 14-acre Downtown campus, however, remains without a contract for development once the hospital relocates. 

On the redevelopment of Martha Jefferson Hospital’s Downtown campus, spokesman Steve Bowers said, without a contract from Crosland developers, “we’d really have to reconsider where we are.” One month later, that’s just the case.

Last year, North Carolina-based developer Crosland entered an exclusive agreement to negotiate with the hospital for the redevelopment of the Downtown site as a mixed-use project. Now, MJH spokesperson Steve Bowers says that Crosland has pulled out and the hospital is continuing its search for the best possible partner. 

“We have expanded our search beyond Crosland,” he says. “I think they really respected our commitment to getting the process in place and moving this process forward so that our site doesn’t sit vacant for an extended period of time after we move.” 

Joseph Barnes, director of architecture and design for Celebration Associates, a partner of Crosland, says that the reason for the company’s pullout is the sheer size of the project. 

“It was a time and capacity issue,” he says. “Opportunities were presented to Martha Jefferson Hospital [and] we did not have the capacity within our team at this moment to move as quickly as they needed to, and we wanted to make sure that they had an ability to look at all the options they had in front of them.”

Despite the slow and treacherous rebounding of the national economy, Bowers says he has seen an increased interest in the project. “Since the beginning of the year, we have been contacted by several development entities, local and otherwise,” he says. 

MJH won’t start at square one. The hospital has already called a new player into action—AECOM, a global consulting firm that worked with MJH on a market study in 2007, to help the hospital pick the best developer. 

“The reason that we have decided to bring AECOM back into the picture is so that once again we establish a level playing field for folks to make their interest known,” says Bowers. Calls to AECOM were not immediately returned. 

Although MJH is optimistic, neighbors are disappointed that the partnership between the hospital and Crosland ended. 

“We were impressed with the way they reached out to the community, and [Crosland] clearly had a good track record elsewhere around the country,” writes Bruce Odell, president of the Martha Jefferson Neighborhood Association, in an e-mail.

“While we all want the hospital to come out of all this financially whole, the neighborhood remains concerned that the quality not lose out to expediency,” he adds. “However the redevelopment is done, it must blend in well with the neighborhood, not add to traffic or parking woes, and reflect an open and constructive dialogue between the hospital, the developer and the Martha Jefferson community.”

Bowers says the site will likely be a mixed-use development that will respect the scale and style of the neighborhood. “It’s very much our intention that houses along Locust Avenue will remain and that we will absolutely preserve the Patterson wing, which was the original building,” he says.

C-VILLE welcomes news tips from readers. Send them to


Posted In:     News

Previous Post

Darden celebrates first professor on his 100th birthday

Next Post

Bill Bolling makes his move

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of