By Brian Bandell – Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal
Encompass Health Corp. has proposed a rehabilitation hospital in Palm Beach Gardens. It's one of a handful of new hospitals planned in Palm Beach County.
The Birmingham, Alabama-based hospital company (NYSE: EHC) filed a plan amendment with the city for the 7.31-acre site at the southwest corner of PGA Boulevard and Ballenisles Boulevard, just east of Florida's Turnpike. Encompass Health has the land under contract from West Outparcel LLC, managed by John C. Bills in Palm Beach Gardens.
The vacant site is currently zoned residential. The new land use would be planned unit development, with conditional use as a hospital.
The 75,559-square-foot hospital would have 80 beds and be surrounded by 168 parking spaces. The first phase would be a 56,007-square-foot building with 50 beds, followed by a 19,552-square-foot building with 30 beds.
Officials with Encompass Health couldn’t be reached for comment. The company has 12 rehab hospitals in Florida, including in Miami and Sunrise. This would be its first rehab hospital in Palm Beach County, which has one of the largest populations of seniors in the state.
According to the application, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens would create 227 direct jobs with more than $12.4 million in labor income annually. Salaries would start around $71,000 and increase to around $76,000 after five years.
The hospital would help patients recover from stroke, neurological conditions, brain injury, hip fracture, and other debilitating illnesses. The average Encompass Health patient is 71 years old and stays 13 days in the hospital, according to the application.
Encompass Health is working with Jupiter-based planning firm Gentile Holloway & O’Mahoney and Nashville, Tennessee-based Earl Swensson Associates as architect on the project.
Since the state scrapped the Certificate of Need process regulating new hospitals, there have been a handful of hospitals proposed in Palm Beach County. Universal Health Services bought land for a full-service hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, while specialty hospitals are proposed in Jupiter, west of Delray Beach, and west of Boynton Beach.