Across the country, medical center expansion projects are being utilized as a catalyst for creating healthy communities where walkability and social engagement become a part of the economic transformation. In Orlando, Florida Hospital is in the midst of turning its campus, anchored by a Sunrail commuter rail station, into a 172-acre mixed-use transit oriented development called Health Village. In the Midwest, Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital continues to actively work on turning its once isolated medical campus into an anchor for a human-scaled neighborhood. Proposing a massive redevelopment of its own, Baptist Health may be in the midst of turning its downtown Jacksonville campus into a walkable district that seamlessly blends the Southbank and San Marco together.

Conceptual master plans and renderings obtained illustrate Baptist Health’s intention to create a grand central entrance experience, along with improved connectivity and wayfinding throughout its Southbank medical complex. Construction on a new seven-story, 2,200 space parking garage bounded by Palm Avenue, Prudential Drive, the FEC Railroad and San Marco Boulevard, could be underway by the end of the year. Once complete, an existing five-level parking garage on Palm Avenue would be demolished and replaced with a grand central medical entrance and greenspace.

In addition, the Laurette J. Howard Doctors Building at 920 Prudential Drive would be demolished and replaced with a new 11-story children’s tower to accommodate current and future clinical needs. As a part of the redesign, Palm Avenue would be widened into a context sensitive boulevard with a median, wider sidewalks and landscaping, improving the corridor’s pedestrian experience. Also, Baptist Way would be realigned, providing a direct connection between the medical center’s new central entrance and San Marco Boulevard.

The downtown campus redevelopment project adds to the list of significant expansion projects currently underway at Baptist Health campuses throughout Jacksonville. In June 2016, Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center broke ground on a nine-story, 330,000-square-foot outpatient building at I-95 and San Marco Boulevard. Expected to be completed in mid-2018, the project also includes the construction of a multi-use path between the St. Johns River and FEC Railroad tracks along Nira Street.

Outside of Jacksonville’s urban core, the health care system’s projects include an $85-million, eight-story tower is being added at its Baptist Medical Center South campus and a new $36 million, three-story North Jacksonville medical campus at I-295 West Beltway and Dunn Avenue.

Next Page: Baptist Health Downtown Expansion Plans

Expansion project locator map

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com

Expansion project locator map

1. Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center

Already under construction, the Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center will be a nine-story, 330,000-square-foot outpatient structure bounded by I-95, San Marco Boulevard, NIra Street and Palm Avenue. This project is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

2. Baptist Health MD Anderson Parking Garage

As a part of the Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center project, a large multi-story parking garage will replace a large existing parking lot bounded by the FEC railroad, Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center and Nira Street. Situating the development’s parking in a multi-story structure adjacent to I-95 and the FEC railroad allows for more pedestrian scale infill in more accessible areas of the medical campus.

3. New Central Identity and Entrance Experience

On Palm Avenue, Parking Garage 2 (P2) would be demolished in order to build an iconic centralized entrance with a gracious drop-off.

Expansion project locator map

4. Clinical Alignment / New Tower

The Laurette J. Howard Doctors Building at 920 Prudential Drive would be demolished and replaced with a new tower of up to 11-stories to accommodate current and future clinical needs.

5. Baptist Medical Center Parking Garage

North of I-95, parking will be organized around the medical center’s new central entrance at Baptist Way and Palm Avenue. A new 2,200-space, seven-story parking garage would be built adjacent to the FEC Railroad and Prudential Drive. Construction could be underway by the end of the year.

6. Palm Avenue Streetscape Beautification

Master plans also indicate Baptist Health’s plans to turn Palm Avenue into a context sensitive boulevard featuring wide landscaped sidewalks and medians.

7. Fuller Warren Bridge Multiuse Path

As a part of the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center project, a multi-use path will be six block multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclist along Nira Street. The path will connect to the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT’s) proposed multi-use path over the Fuller Warren Bridge. When complete, the path will connect San Marco with Riverside, the Southbank Riverwalk and the proposed District development on the former JEA Southside Generation Station property.

Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Contact Ennis at edavis@moderncities.com