Hospital selects developer for downtown project

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

Bristol Hospital now has a developer on board for its downtown project at Centre Square.

After reviewing proposals from eight potential developers, the hospital selected Rendina, a nationally-recognized leader in medical office development, announced Tiffany Fernandez, the project lead for the site during a Bristol Development Authority  Downtown Committee meeting last Thursday.

Operating for over 29 years, Rendina has over seven million square feet of development in its portfolio. The developer, which is based in Florida, also has experience with medical office buildings in urban areas as well as parking structures, which was something that Bristol Hospital considered when making a final decision, said Fernandez.

Bristol Hospital has proposed a medical office building on the corners of Riverside Avenue and Main Street. The building will be a combination of its medical offices that are leased throughout Bristol and other towns—and taxable property.

“We’re really excited to announce this,” said Fernandez, adding how the developer has already had a kick off meeting with the city. “It was their professionalism. Their response for a proposal really took into account the city’s needs. They really demonstrated flexibility and adaption to our urban environment.”

BDA Executive Director Justin Malley said now that a developer is on board, the city is at a critical point.

“We can start to really work through some of the opportunities across the street, meaning the roadway, what exactly are the property’s dimensions… parking structures,” said Malley, adding how Rendina brings best practices to the table. “I’m impressed with Rendina so far. They’re very flexible, very mindful of the city’s interests and… of Bristol Hospital’s interests.”

The hospital anticipates solidified designs of the proposed medical office building after it is done negotiating the agreement with Rendina.

“We’re still negotiating our agreement with the developer, and there’s a lot of parallels with the city as well. We’re hoping once those are finalized, it will take about four to six months of designs to solidify,” said Fernandez. “Now that we have a developer on board, the city will be extremely collaborative and very transparent with what we’re sharing.

Fernandez added the hospital is “working diligently” to meet the Feb. 28 deadline for its purchase and sales agreement with the city.

“We’re striving for that deadline,” said Fernandez.

Now that Rendina is on board, Milone & MacBroom can now complete the planning study, which was previously on hold.

The consultant is currently working with the city’s Public Works Department on the infrastructure improvements, which includes design work for a roadway through Centre Square.

Currently, Milone & MacBroom is proceeding with the redesign of traffic signal on Laurel Street by City Hall—as well as a conceptual streetscape plan.

“It’s about putting the plans on paper what that streetscape is…picking up with what the city has already been successfully doing,” said Tom Daly, the senior project manager of Milone & MacBroom. “My hope is by the time we get those two things done, Rendina is now moving forward, and we can get going on the road infrastructure through the core of the project.”

Malley said the idea of the streetscape plan is to invest in Centre Square and to market the site. The BDA is waiting to hear back on a federal grant that it recently applied for to help fund some of the streetscape and roadway work.

“We need to create a nice canvas for folks to come in and make a decision to develop there,” said Malley, adding that the streetscape plan also helps the hospital in the end.