Providers in one Florida town may have a potential boondoggle on their hands, as a pricey new facility sits finished, but empty, because of an issue with local officials.
The Institute for Healthy Living — a $75 million campus that includes skilled nursing and a research center in Jupiter, FL — has sat vacant, despite its near-completion. That’s because its owners have been unable to secure research agreements from town officials, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Both Jupiter Medical Center and the Scripps Research Institute have cut their ties with the facility. And now its owners, ARHC, are asking Jupiter officials to let them open without the agreement, despite that being a key ingredient of the facility’s approval eight years ago, according to the Post. Some town officials are loathe to do so, as the land on which the institute is situated was set aside specifically for life sciences.
“Unacceptable,” Jim Kuretski, a Jupiter council member, told the newspaper. “That project never would have been approved if it were not for the research element.”
Former nursing home magnate Elizabeth Fago — also owner of the developer of the campus, Palm Health Partners, which the property owner blames for construction delays — came up with the idea for the institute. She also operates NuVista Living in WellingtonGreen, an assisted living and rehab center in Florida.
Years behind schedule but ready to open, the Institute for Healthy Living is slated to include a 129-bed skilled nursing center and 62 assisted living spots. The Jupiter village council is expected to discuss the matter in October.