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Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center to unveil proposal for new facility on state property in Brighton

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  June 21, 2013 01:56 PM

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The Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center will present a proposal next week to build a two-story, 48,000-square-foot medical facility in Brighton, according to an announcement from the city.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host the public meeting about the project in the community room of the Jackson Mann Community Center in Allston at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.

The proposal calls for constructing a LEED-certified clinic that allow the health center to consolidate several of its existing locations into the new facility, the city announcement said.

The building would include a retail pharmacy open to the public, a dental clinic with 10 exam rooms, an administrative suite, a vision clinic with four exam rooms and a retail eye glass shop, and a conference area for health center and community use, the announcement said.

Officials at the health center told boston.com last summer that the new $19.4-million facility would be completed by 2015 on three parcels of state-owned property at 487-495 Western Ave. in Brighton, where a State Police barracks and salt and sand maintenance facility currently operate.

State officials have said the barracks and the salt and sand facility will move to other yet-to-be determined sites.

The 2.2-acre site is bordered by Soldiers Field Road to the north and Western Ave to the south. The abutting property to the west houses the historic Charles River Speedway headquarters building, which the state is exploring ways to preserve and reuse.

Through legislation approved two years ago, the state has agreed to lease the property to the nonprofit health organization for a to-be-determined fair market rate for 50 years, with two 10-year lease extension options, officials have said. The property is worth about $3.5 million, according to the city.

The organization’s existing medical locations in Allston – its main site at 287 Western Ave. and vision center at 300 Western Ave. – would consolidate into the new building, along with its administrative offices at 1380 Soldier’s Field Road, officials have said.

The new facility would allow the health organization to serve an additional 5,500 patients, nearly doubling the roughly 6,000 patients served currently at the two Western Avenue locations, officials have said.

Last spring, to help kick-start funding for the proposed medical building, the health center received a $5 million grant authorized through the federal health care law.

The organization recently sold a half-acre of property it owns in Allston to a developer and plans to use the proceeds from the $1.3-million sale to help cover the new facility’s cost.

Under the leadership of Allston resident Joseph M. Smith, the community health center was established in 1974 at the Charlesview Apartments complex. The organization said it now serves a total of nearly 12,000 patients annually across its five locations.

The city said in its recent announcement that public comments about the health center’s proposal will be accepted through Friday, July, 12. Comments can be directed to lance.campbell.bra@cityofboston.gov and by mail to: Lance Campbell, Boston Redevelopment Authority, One City Hall Square, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02201.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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