Bayhealth reaches agreement on sale and redevelopment of Milford Memorial site


Bayhealth announced it has reached an agreement with Nationwide Healthcare Services for the sale of the grounds that currently house Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital on Clarke Avenue.

Nationwide plans to transform the 22-acre site and surrounding buildings into an innovative multi-use healthcare-focused community, a Bayhealth release stated. Possibilities include senior housing, assisted living and skilled nursing care.

During the next several months, Nationwide and its advisors which include planners and architects who are familiar with the transformation of these types of properties will performdue diligence onthe feasibility of the proposed development.

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The agreement follows through on a commitment Bayhealth made in November of 2014 to find a buyer that could repurpose the property after Bayhealth moves to its new health campus in Sussex County.

“Our extensive community outreach revealed overwhelming support for a redevelopment plan that focuses on senior housing, skilled nursing care, assisted living and other health care related services – all with the hope of attracting businesses that will create jobs for our community and provide continuity with our new Health Campus project,” said Bayhealth President & CEO Terry Murphy.“I am extremely pleased to announce the vision Nationwide Healthcare Services has for the Clarke Avenue facility and surrounding properties will do just that. It was critically important to us to find a partner that has an established history of providing high quality care in state-of-the-art facilities and we now have such a partner in Nationwide. ”

“I am pleased that Bayhealth and Nationwide are partnering to invest in this property that has been a major health and employment center in Milford for years,” said Gov.John Carney. “This partnership will mean significant new private investment in Milford, and new, good-paying jobs.”

Early estimates reveal the redevelopment project could result in capital investments of more than $20 million, the creation of more than 300 full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of temporary construction jobs as buildings are repurposed. The redevelopment is also projected to be a catalyst for additional economic development.

“Through leadership, Bayhealth has proven their commitment to the Milford community as redevelopment of the Clark Avenue facility continues to be a priority for the organization. The redevelopment of this site demonstrates the ingenuity necessary to bring together successful economic development, preservation and quality of life initiatives,” said Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe. “I am very pleased to welcome Nationwide to our community and I know they will become a critical partner in continuing our efforts to create an environment that encourages investment in our heritage and its people.”

Nationwide Healthcare Services already operates two skilled care facilities in Delaware, the Regal Heights Center in Hockessin and the Regency Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington.

“We take great pride in providing high quality, affordable care in top-notch facilities,” said Nationwide CEO Meir Gelley. “We are very excited about this new opportunity. We have a lot of work ahead of us to make sure that our vision for this property is fulfilled and we are excited to be part of this community.”

Bayhealth’s decision to select Nationwide was the result of a two-year long process to find the right partner, the release stated. Nationwide also has experience in repurposing property in a way that is consistent with the community’s interest, according to Bayhealth.

Bayhealth will move from Milford Memorial Hospital in early 2019 when the new $300 million Health Campus opens along Route 1 adjacent to the Route 30 overpass.

This redevelopment effort community input, which has been reported on Bayhealth’s website:www.bayhealth.org/re-imagineclarkeavenue

To create a comprehensive redevelopment plan for Milford Memorial Hospital, Nationwide is working closely with Dynamis Advisors Inc., which has 21 years of experience designing and financing large projects nationally.

Dynamis Advisors helped lead and implement the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Health Community Initiative in Reading, PA, as well as the hospital transformation of the former Mercy Hospital in Michigan.

The Reading project involved the conversion of one property into a new school and the other into an outpatient healthcare facility, including a new allied health school, primary healthcare facility with behavioral health providers. The Michigan property became a 585,000 square foot multi-use facility housing healthcare providers, education institutions, social service providers and retail, including senior housing and a skilled nursing unit.

Incoming months, Nationwide will further explore the feasibility of a variety of services and uses for these properties. As part of its due diligence process, Nationwide, in addition to normal investigations relative to real estate transactions of this type, will explore occupying a portion of the buildings for a Nationwide skilled nursing facility, as well as opportunities with like-minded organizations to occupy other portions of the buildings and adjacent parcels, the release stated

The transaction on the Bayhealth Clarke Avenue properties is scheduled to close no later than August 1, 2019.

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