Eastman Cooke turns old city warehouse into modern medical facility


Eastman Cooke & Associates announced it has completed the adaptive reuse of a former warehouse building at 438 West 51st Street in the Clinton neighborhood, transforming it into a modern medical center for Sovereign Medical Group, a multi-practice community healthcare system.

The core-and-shell conversion of the 28,700 s/f, formerly five-story circa 1905 warehouse entailed a three-story roof extension, upgrades of vital operating systems, and a complete installation of the infrastructure systems.


“This has been one of the most
rewarding, as well as most challenging projects we’ve had in years, starting
with the scope of the construction on a narrow, densely populated block,” points
out Peter Morandi, Peter Morandi, Chief Executive Officer, LEED AP, Eastman
Cooke & Associates. “In addition to extensive infrastructure upgrades, the
façade work required artisan-skill levels because we were reconstructing a landmark
building, albeit long-abandoned.”

Healthcare company acquired the
site for $15 million in 2015 and retained a team that included Eastman and Stonehill
Taylor architecture and interior design firm.

The project required the
preservation of the original façade and brickwork, which had been severely impacted
by decades of corrosion and neglect. The antiquated cast iron beams holding up
the building were married with new structural steel using a variety of methods
developed by the design and installing contractors.

The Eastman Cooke team expanded
the building below-grade by chiseling through bedrock, while concurrently extending
the upper levels three stories higher.

Employing its proprietary Work Smart System, comprising a series of highly collaborative, step-by-step protocols led by the firm’s project managers, estimators, and field staff, Eastman Cooke was able to successfully coordinate with the many subcontractors and government agencies to rig a generator, nine chillers, two enormous hospital-grade RTU units, and provide the infrastructure to support all to the roof.

Crews worked weekends to put in
new sewer and water services, with minimal disruption to the community, while
strictly adhering to all safety protocols and keeping the project on schedule.

Once the exterior and
infrastructure work were accomplished, the Eastman Cooke team went to work on
the complex and highly coordinated interior build-out, now close to completion.

When finished, there will be an inviting reception area designed to enhance the patient experience, examination and diagnostic areas, pre- and post-surgical rooms, four state-of-the-art operating rooms, and a full on-site equipment sterilization.

Now in the final punch-list
stage, the Sovereign Medical Group Center has opened much of its services with
full operations anticipated for the fall.

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