A Quincy commercial real estate firm has bought the 15-acre Quincy Medical Center, two years after its previous owner, Steward Health Care, shut down all but the hospital’s emergency room.
FoxRock Properties, which developed South Shore Medical Center in Norwell, is paying $12 million for the property, company spokeswoman Maggie Meluzio said. Steward paid $29.5 million for it in 2011, and its assessed value is more than $42 million.
The campus is expected to retain a medical focus. FoxRock will lease the emergency room operations to Steward, which will continue to operate it for at least five years. Meanwhile, FoxRock will try to fill the rest of the building with “medical uses,” which its agreement with the city defines as including anything from a hospital to medical research and education, to assisted-living facilities.
“We’re all quite aware that Quincy cannot support an acute care hospital,” Mayor Thomas Koch said. But “I think there’s a lot of room for medical uses at that property, mixed medical uses short of a hospital, that I think will be very helpful to people in Quincy.”
Chris Reale, a manager at FoxRock, said the company would probably market the four-building complex, about 520,000 square feet in total, to medical companies in Boston “who maybe haven’t thought of the South Shore yet.”
In a related transaction, FoxRock was designated by Quincy to redevelop a city-owned property in Quincy Center that had once hosted a parking garage. That site is a key parcel for the city in its redevelopment of downtown.
The garage site is expected to ultimately become a commercial building, which could also feature medical uses, Koch said. The agreement with the city requires FoxRock to spend at least $1.5 million marketing “either or both” properties to medical tenants. Whatever is put at the site, however, will require City Council approval, and Reale said it’s too soon to say what the site might ultimately look like.
Although FoxRock’s designation as the garage-site developer is technically separate from its ownership of the hospital, Chris Walker, a Koch spokesman, described the two as “connected.” The deal between the city and the company over the use of the hospital site also includes terms about the downtown property.
Steward put the medical campus on the market earlier this year. Quincy had leverage over how the property could be used because a 1999 agreement gave the city the option of taking ownership if it was no longer a medical facility.
As part of its agreement with the city, FoxRock will be allowed to get out from those restrictions if, within five years, it pays Quincy $4.25 million, or leases at least 150,000 square feet at the hospital to medical tenants for at least seven years.
Steward, a for-profit health care system, gained state approval to close the 196-bed property in 2014, citing financial losses amid competition from hospitals in Boston and along the South Shore. The closing left Quincy as the largest city in Massachusetts without a hospital.