Massachusetts General Hospital announces plans for $1B towers project

A rendering of the building to be constructed on the Massachusetts General Hospital campus (MGH)

Massachusetts General Hospital is planning to construct a $1 billion, 12-story building on its Boston campus by 2026.

MGH announced to its employees in a letter it was launching the process to get approval for the hospital building aimed at addressing growing demands for care and services. Cancer and cardiology are expected to be the major centers of excellence in the new facility. 

The new building, expected to be about 1 million square feet for both inpatient and outpatient clinical care, will feature 450 single-bed patient rooms housed in the top six floors of the building in two parallel towers. Patient beds for thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and general medicine may also be incorporated within the structure. The building will also include operating/international rooms, a procedural suite, imaging facilities, exam rooms and infusion centers. It will also house dietary, pharmacy and clinical support services. 

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The building will be located entirely within the MGH campus with a facade along Cambridge Street, extending from North Grove Street to Blossom Street and going back to Parkman Street. It will have retail space at the ground level along Cambridge Street.

"The new building will benefit the immediate neighborhood by enhancing and enlivening Cambridge Street as an important gateway into Boston," wrote MGH President Peter Slavin, M.D., and MGH CEO Timothy Ferris, M.D. "And through a new state program associated with major construction projects, our building will provide meaningful resources to partner with local communities to develop solutions to challenging community health problems."

The new building will also have six levels of underground parking with more than 1,000 spaces.  

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Moving several large services to the new facility will free up space in existing buildings, creating an opportunity to expand programs to address specific needs such as increasing the number of behavioral health inpatient beds for adults, creating a pediatric behavioral health inpatient unit and expanding the substance use disorder program, officials said.

It will also bring MGH, which currently has fewer than 40% of its beds in single rooms, up to competitive standards of other hospitals. That could be increasingly important in light of some major mergers approved in the state between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lahey Health System that are expected to significantly reshape the healthcare landscape in the eastern part of Massachusetts. 

MGH is also planning to build a new seven-story utility building.

Officials said they expect the regulatory approval process will take about 18 months and hope to begin construction by 2020. The plan is to have the underground of the garage and the first phase of the building complete by 2023 and the second phase of construction complete by late 2026.