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Asian-themed nursing home plans 57,000-square-foot facility in Quincy

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 6, 2012 10:42 AM

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A Boston nursing home that mostly serves elderly Asians is seeking to build a state-of-the-art, 57,000-square-foot facility on Washington Street in Quincy.

South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Inc. currently operates in Boston’s Chinatown, and has been catering to the elderly Asian citizens in the city since 1985.

However, the company, which has no affiliation with Quincy’s South Cove Community Health facilities, has been seeking to expand for some time into a new nursing model, one that would accommodate a central living area on each floor, with bedrooms off of that space.

“We’ve looked for quite a while in Boston and the Greater Boston area, and there wasn’t a suitable site available to expand our operations. But we did find a site in Quincy,” said South Cove Manor CEO Richard Wong in a telephone interview.

As such, South Cove plans to buy the Hassan Automotive Property at 290 Washington St., expanding its 100-bed facility in Boston into 141-beds and increasing the 150 full- and part-time staff to 200 employees.

Wong said Quincy’s large and growing Asian population was a big factor in the decision.

“We also noticed that the Asian population has grown considerably in the Quincy area, so we want to service both there and Boston,” Wong said. “Boston from Quincy isn’t so far away for our target population – and there is that growth over the last 20-25 years of the Asian population [in Quincy is unique].”

Although the facility mostly caters to Asian residents, the facility welcomes everybody.

Still, there is an Asian flair – meals are mostly Chinese, activities are more centered toward Asian culture, and many of the faculty and staff are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, or Toishanese, with some also speaking Vietnamese.

The project, expected to cost $25 million to $30 million, will first have to go through the Department of Public Health processes and receive approval from Quincy’s Planning Department.

“If they agree and they support our proposal, we’re hoping to begin construction sometime in 2012, with a 12- to 15-month construction time period,” Wong said.

If history is any guide, state entities shouldn’t have much of a problem with the move.

In the last 19 years, South Cove has received 17 perfect service recognitions from the DPU. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid also has ranked South Cove as a 5-star establishment, the highest rating possible.

At this point, Wong didn’t know of any particular neighbor concerns, but said that being a good neighbor was among South Cove’s three principes.

“We strive to be a good neighbor. The area we’re going to is a combination commercial, business, residential, and we hope to improve that area,” Wong said. “We want to work with the neighborhood, even though it may be a big building, we want to be considered as a neighbor to the area and listen to their issues -- fit into that section of the community.”

A neighborhood meeting about the project is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. at the Fore River Clubhouse. Additionally, Quincy’s Planning Board will review the proposal at their meeting on Wednesday night.

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