The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center announced last week that it is suspending its plans to bring a new, state of the art health care facility to Winthrop center, just three months after re-affirming their commitment to the project.
“We remain committed to the Winthrop community and to serving residents of the town at our current Washington Street offices in Winthrop and in East Boston at 10 Gove Street, and our newly constructed ambulatory care center at 20 Maverick Square,” said Jack Cradock, President and CEO of EBHNC. “The creation of a large satellite clinic in Winthrop, at a time when health centers face mounting challenges in reimbursement requires us to suspend our planned new facility in Winthrop center.”
The company cited “increasing construction costs amid a changing health care reimbursement environment” as the primary reason for the decision.
However, in April after a delay of several months, Manny Lopes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of EBNHC said that a series of permitting delays, “had put the project into the middle of winter, and then we wanted to make sure the funding was completed before we began.”
The center was to have included 10,400 square feet of space, including 7,400 square feet for the health center and 3,000 square feet of renovated space for three tenants. The project was permitted for eight off-street parking spaces. Local officials had hoped the health center would provide a major boost to the town’s center area business district.
Despite the disappointing news, some in the business community still are focused on a positive outcome for the site.
Bernice MacIntyre, President of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce said, “while we share their disappointment, EBNHC deserves credit for their good intentions and eagerness to invest in our community. The building is in good hands and we look forward to working with EBNHC to develop the site to its highest and best use.”
While some pre-construction work had occurred at the site, renovation had not yet begun at the property. The Health Center will reassess its plans for the building over the next several months.