A rendering of the future Jupiter Medical Center / UF Health hospital in Avenir.
Photo by Jupiter Medical Center
As western Palm Beach Gardens experiences a population spurt, a new alliance seeks to provide the medical facilities to meet the growing demand.
In early October, Jupiter Medical Center and UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center, announced plans for their first jointly operated clinical facility: the Jupiter Medical Center/UF Health Neighborhood Hospital at the Health Park at Avenir, a 4,752-acre sustainable community taking shape along Northlake Boulevard 2 miles west of the Beeline Highway.
The Palm Beach Gardens-based national real estate firm Sina Companies is developing the two-story, 53,000-square-foot micro-hospital, which will include 24-hour emergency services, eight emergency room beds, 20 inpatient beds, operating rooms, a diagnostics laboratory and imaging services.
Medical office space will be available for physicians, including primary care doctors and specialists, all on 13.21 acres within the Avenir Town Center.
The Jupiter Medical Center/UF Health Neighborhood Hospital “is an example of our strong commitment to expanding access to health care for our growing community,” says Amit Rastogi, the president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center. “This new, state-of-the-art facility will provide the latest in leading-edge medicine right where patients want their care, close to home.”
Population has surged as the COVID-19 pandemic has ebbed in South Florida in general and in western Palm Beach Gardens in particular. Rastogi says Jupiter Medical Center, which had designs on the hospital at Avenir even before partnering with UF Health, didn’t see its usual summer slowdown in patients this year, indicating more year-round residents and fewer retirees visiting for the winter. No other medical facility is within 15 miles.
A former ranch and the last undeveloped land in Palm Beach Gardens, Avenir will feature 3,900 homes, a resort-style clubhouse, retail space, offices, shops and restaurants.
The hospital, expected to be completed by 2024, will be close to nature trails and conservation areas, Sandhill Crane and Panther National golf clubs, and the North Palm Beach County Airport.
“We look forward to serving the many communities in the western Northlake corridor,” Rastogi says, “including Ibis, Bayhill Estates and the surrounding communities. We will continue to share developments on this project and more about our relationship with UF Health as details evolve.”
Palm Beach County’s only independent, not-for-profit hospital, the 242-bed Jupiter Medical Center is working toward expanding its location on Military Trail in Jupiter with more inpatient beds, operating rooms and doctor offices. A 90,000-square-foot surgical institute is set to open next year, with 16 operating rooms and two hybrid operating rooms. An additional tower, which will add 100 beds, is scheduled by 2024.
Jupiter Medical Center also hopes to further its alliance with UF Health through a 50-to-80-bed research hospital on 70 vacant acres next to the Alton community on Donald Ross Road east of I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens. That area includes 1.6 million square feet once designated as biotech space by former company Scripps Research.
Such a hospital would sit close to UF Scripps Biomedical Research, which formed this year when Scripps integrated with UF and UF Health.
Partnering with Jupiter Medical Center gives Gainesville-based UF Health, which has campuses there and in Jacksonville, plus satellite locations in Central Florida, more of a presence in Palm Beach County and South Florida. And the alliance gives Jupiter Medical Center more opportunities for expansion.
“With the exponential population growth in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas comes the need for innovative and diverse health care offerings,” says David R. Nelson, the senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “The Neighborhood Hospital is the perfect opportunity to increase community health care access in the region by bringing world-class doctors, state-of-the-art facilities and transformational technology closer to home.”