Johns Hopkins Medicine has moved one step closer to securing new off-site office space for several of its administrative departments currently located on the East Baltimore campus.
Faced with the further expansion of its academic and clinical departments, JHM set out several months ago on a citywide search for a minimum of 50,000 square feet of office space. To date, Johns Hopkins Real Estate, which has led the search, has identified 11 possible sites and last week began the process of reviewing solicited proposals.
Richard Grossi, chief financial officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, said the aim is to identify one building that can accommodate all or a majority of the departments being moved.
Grossi said the relocation effort was necessitated by the steady growth in Hopkins Medicine's "core programs," which has caused university and hospital officials to re-evaluate how best to use the space at both the East Baltimore campus and the Bayview Medical Center. Given the pressing need for additional on-campus clinical and academic space, Grossi said, it became clear that the institution had to look elsewhere to accommodate administrative offices, some of which are also "begging for additional space."
Grossi said the relocation plans are somewhat similar to the Homewood administrative office exodus to what is now Johns Hopkins at Eastern, the redeveloped former Eastern High School.
"But in our case it's not likely that we'll get an Eastern type of facility," he said. "It's much more likely that we will move into an office building that has a lot of empty space in it."
In terms of who will be moving, Grossi said JHM is focusing on offices that "don't on a day-to-day basis have to interact with patients, do lab-based research or teach students."
Already relocated were 120 personnel with The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, which consolidated its offices at 100 N. Charles St. Grossi estimates that a similar number of staff will be affected by the next office space shift.
Charles Weinstein, director of real estate services for Johns Hopkins Real Estate, said the search for space has been narrowed down to office buildings primarily in the city's central business district. Weinstein, who is chief consultant on the office space hunt, said the desire is to identify a building that is close to public transportation, has adequate parking facilities and will allow for future expansion.
"Our intent is to create a Hopkins community within one building," Weinstein said. "We could have looked at moving offices into four or five different buildings, but we want to keep people together and have the location be a convenient one for commuters."
Weinstein said the current real estate market presents a host of options.
"There is lots of availability in the area of office space right now in Baltimore. There are several new buildings downtown, and others that are currently finishing up construction," he said. "For our purposes, we would need a building that could be occupied immediately."
Weinstein added that Hopkins anticipates leasing the chosen space for five to 10 years, with possible extension options.
Johns Hopkins Real Estate will present its recommendations to JHM administration at a mid-September meeting. Grossi said that a final decision will be made before Sept. 30 and that the plan is to have everyone moved by next summer.
"We're not going to occupy all 50,000 square feet at once," he said. "It will be a gradual relocation process, something we can manage in a reasonable fashion."