Later this month, the firm
Economic Research Associates
(ERA) will present a comprehensive market study of the property currently owned and used by Martha Jefferson Hospital. A preview of this report was presented to the Martha Jefferson Neighborhood Association in late January, and again to City Council at a work session on February 11, 2008. Hospital spokesman Steve Bowers says the full report will be available within the next two weeks, and will be used to help the hospital identify a single redevelopment partner.
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“[ERA’s] product is going to be a research tool that developers can literally take to the bank to help finance their project,” said Bowers. The hospital wants a partner that will create a mixed-use development that energizes the High Street corridor. The ERA report will outline the feasibility of hotels, condos, offices, and other potential re-uses.
Councilors were generally supportive of Bower’s presentation, and the hospital’s approach. They asked that some form of a citizen oversight panel be set up to help coordinate communications between the hospital, the City, and the neighborhood. Bowers said the hospital is in the process of doing so, and that the hospital would seek input from Council on who should make up that body.
said he would like to see the five houses owned by the hospital along Locust Avenue returned to their original use as residences. Councilor
said he wanted affordable living choices to be built into the project. Councilor
said he would like to know more about the future of other medical businesses in the area. Mayor
said he would like to see the historic portion of the existing hospital preserved in some way to preserve the fabric of the neighborhood.
Bowers said the hospital’s intention is to narrow the field of developer partners by the summer.
In May, the Charlottesville Community Design Center will present the work of UVa School of Architecture students who have been tasked with coming up with conceptual designs of their own.