February 24, 2024
Planning Board OKs Quincy Center Medical Building



FoxRock Properties plans to construct a four-story, 110,000-square foot medical office building in the vicinity of the Parkingway in Quincy Center. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center would lease the building from the developer. This view of the site is from the Generals Park. Rendering courtesy FoxRock Properties.

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Planning Board has signed off on a developer’s proposal to construct a 110,000-square-foot medical office building in Quincy Center along with a 515-car garage and a pair of retail spaces. The board also approved the developer’s request to exempt the medical office building from property taxes for 40 years.

FoxRock Properties plans to construct the development at 37R and 86 Parkingway, a wedge-shaped parcel bounded by General Dunford Drive to the south, Granite Street to the north, General McConville Way to the east and the MBTA tracks to the west. The project site contains 117,366 square feet of land within the Quincy Center zoning district.

FoxRock in 2022 received permission from the Planning Board to build a seven-story, 240,000-square-foot medical office building on site, along with the garage and retail spaces. The Planning Board on Jan. 17 approved a revised version of the proposal, which now features a four-story, 110,000-square foot medical office building along with the other components.

The board on Jan. 17 also approved a 25-year extension of the 15-year Chapter 121A agreement between the developer and the city already in place, meaning the medical office building would be exempt from local property taxes for 40 years. The garage and retail components of the project are not included within the Chapter 121A agreement.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center would lease the medical office building from FoxRock. BIDMC’s plans for the building call for an ambulatory service center whose programming would include urgent care, primary care, a full suite of radiology services, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, cancer care, orthopedics, lab service, a pharmacy, and other specialty services.

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“This past fall, you may have read in the newspaper that FoxRock signed a lease with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to put a medical office building here,” said David Mahoney, the attorney who represented FoxRock at the Jan. 17 hearing. “This is certainly good news for the city of Quincy to have a medical provider back in the city.”

View of the medical office building (left) and a portion of the 515-car garage (right) as seen from the opposite side of General McConville Way. Rendering courtesy FoxRock Properties.

The medical office building would be constructed on the southern portion of the lot, at the corner of General Dunford Drive and General McConville Way. The garage would be located toward the middle of the parcel. The northern end of the site, near the intersection of General McConville Way and Granite Street, would include a park area.

The two two-story retail buildings would be located along General McConville Way in front of the garage. The larger of the two buildings, located north of the garage, would have 18,000 square feet of space and would be used for “general retail,” according to Josh Kleinman, FoxRock’s director of design and development. The smaller of the two buildings, located east of the garage, would have 9,000 square feet of space and is intended to be a restaurant. Tenants for the retail spaces have not yet been chosen.

A driveway off General McConville Way would provide access to the garage as well as pick-up and drop-off area for patients entering and exiting the medical office building. The loading zone for the site would be located at the rear of the property adjacent to the MBTA tracks. Vehicles leaving the garage would exit the site via the loading area.

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Kleinman said FoxRock plans to develop the site in phases, starting with the garage. The company hopes to begin work on the garage this fall and then start construction of the medical office building in the second quarter of 2025. Construction of the building is expected to take 22 months, putting it on pace to open in 2027.

In its application to the Planning Board, FoxRock said construction of the medical office building would not be possible without the tax exemption provided by the Chapter 121A agreement, also known as a Section 6A agreement.

“The Project will bring high-paying jobs to the downtown, which will help stimulate existing businesses in the neighborhood and promote future economic growth,” FoxRock said. “Absent a long-term 6A agreement, a first-class medical office building is not financially viable at this site under current economic conditions given the combination of construction costs, suburban office rents, and the high interest rate environment.”

In addition, FoxRock said that BIDMC is a non-profit entity that would be exempt from real estate taxes if it owned the building.

“Additionally, in order to attract a first-class healthcare tenant, a long-term 6A agreement is required as the healthcare tenant is otherwise setup as a tax-exempt entity that would not be assessed typical Ad Valorem real estate tax,” FoxRock said. “Without the 40-year tax exemption included in the LDA, the project would not be financially feasible.”

During the public hearing, Ward 4 Councillor James Devine said the medical office building was very exciting for the city.

“A lot my neighbors, constituents and friends, they’ve all been really concerned with getting a hospital back into Quincy and I’ve been saying we have the next best thing, a large medical building. I believe they’re going to be doing some very good day surgeries, so you won’t have to go in town,” Devine said. “This is unbelievable. It’s very exciting for Quincy.”

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Mary Jo Baryza, a resident of Cliveden Street, said she was opposed to granting the developer a tax exemption for 40 years.

“I am not against the project…but I am against the extension to 40 years, because that is an awfully long time,” she said. “We got no exemptions for buying in that neighborhood six years ago when it was blighted, truly blighted, and I don’t think the developer should be able to get an extension.”

The board approved the modifications to the project and the extension of the Chapter 121A agreement in a pair of unanimous votes. As a condition of the approval, the City Council must approve an amendment to the 2019 land disposition agreement between FoxRock and the city to reduce the minimum size of the medical office building from 150,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet.

FoxRock’s proposal is one of two projects in the pipeline for the vicinity of the Parkingway. Atlantic Development in October unveiled plans to build a mixed-use development featuring up to 325 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail space, including a specialty grocer, as well as an 800-car municipal garage to the south of General Dunford Drive. The City Council approved a land disposition agreement for that site in December. Atlantic Development must receive approval from the Planning Board before moving forward.