The City of Cambridge, Dorchester County and the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health took an important step forward in future plans for new state-of-the-art health care facilities and services in the county and a milestone in development of the Cambridge waterfront as a community asset and economic development engine.
On June 8, Mayor Victoria Jackson- Stanley, Council President Ricky Travers, and UM SRH CEO Ken Kozel signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) which, along with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last month by the City and County creating a waterfront development entity, will serve as the framework for continued negotiations regarding the future sale and development of the current hospital property when the emergency department and outpatient services occupy a proposed new site in Cambridge. This move is anticipated by 2021, although that date is contingent upon local and State approvals in order to move ahead. The City of Cambridge and Dorchester County MOU created an entity, Cambridge Waterfront Development, Inc. (CWDI), which ultimately will purchase the current hospital property, prepare it for development, and negotiate its sale by the spring of 2021.
“The County Council is very excited to continue the working relationship with the City and we thank them for the opportunity to participate as a partner in this monumental place-making endeavor,” says Council President Ricky Travers. “We look forward to the completion of the CWDI board appointment process and we are excited about the direction this will take the waterfront for Cambridge. I was overwhelmed with the willingness of both the City and UM SRH to work as a team to guarantee success of this project,” Travers says.
Council member Don Satterfield adds, “This historic project and partnership is the product of significant effort from both City and County employees as well as the elected boards. It is a pleasure working with the City and I have full confidence that the project will be professionally managed and developed to its fullest.”
“We, as a community, are incredibly excited at the opportunity this provides the City and County,” states Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “The ability to combine the two land areas into one project, as well as the two primary governing entities working as one,create perfect alignment for a successful centennial project that will profoundly improve the viability of the Cambridge waterfront for years to come.”
While the LOI signed June 8 does not directly impact the health system’s required Certificates of Exemption (COE) application process, it does provide University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and UM SRH with an interested buyer, who shares the health system’s commitment and vision for a campus supporting the health care needs of people in Dorchester and neighboring counties, as well as the revitalization of Cambridge.
“We applaud the vision and leadership of Mayor Jackson-Stanley, President Travers and their councils,” says Ken Kozel. “It is our intent that through our shared process, we will reach agreement on the sale of our Cambridge property by the end of calendar 2018 and ultimately, transfer ownership of our property in the spring of 2021, when we anticipate re-locating our services to the new UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge.”
UM Shore Regional Health plans to initiate the regulatory approval process in July with the Maryland Health Care Commission. The health system will request converting the hospital to a freestanding medical facility, with a new, state-of-the-art emergency department and medical pavilion for needed health care services. Plans call for the facilities to be constructed on a new medical campus in Cambridge by 2021.