A swatch of land that was earmarked for a medical facility more than 30 years ago is finally fulfilling that with an announcement by Yale-New Haven Health. The land, perched near the Maltby Lakes, will become the nerve center of the ever-expanding health organization.
In August, Yale-New Haven Health finalized the purchase of land at 600 Derby Ave. The 117-acre property will soon be home to the Yale New Haven Health Regional Operations Center (ROC).
“We intend to build a strategic operations center and distribution facility for medical supplies that can serve the entire health care system,” said Stephen J. Carbery, vice-president, Facilities, Design, Construction and Real Estate, YNHHS. “As the health system looks to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, this land will provide us the ability to build a combined services and distribution center for medical supplies that can serve our entire health system and other clinical partners.”
The ROC will be a mostly one-story 140,000 sq. ft. building with a mezzanine. The building will be staffed by approximately 90-95 managers and staff with half of those positions to be newly created jobs. Yale New Haven will continue to use its Howard Avenue warehouse in the former SEAMCO building.
“The great City of West Haven is eager to work with Yale New Haven Health on this exciting new frontier of development on Route 34,” Mayor Edward M. O’Brien said. “Yale-New Haven Health is the gold standard for health care systems worldwide, so it is fitting that one of West Haven’s crown jewel development sites – a picturesque parcel fronted by the Maltby Lakes reservoir and surrounded by woods – will serve as the future home of an advanced warehouse for distributing medical supplies throughout the Yale New Haven Health System.”
YNHHS intends to submit it plans for review to the city in October and the team is targeting a March 2019 opening.
It was in 1984 that then-Mayor Lawrence C. Minichino announced the purchase of the same tract of land by a New York City-based developer to construct Sursum Corda, Latin for “Lift up Your Hearts.” The facility was to be a rehabilitation center for heart patients.
It was to utilize the land along the lakes to offer patients and their families, places for hiking, fishing and other recuperative activities. Following approval by various agencies, including the New Haven Regional Water Authority, the multi-million dollar project languished for years before finally being dropped. Even today, some people refer to the tract as the “Sursum Corda Property.”
The land was then purchased by developer David Beckerman and at one time offered the land to the University of New Haven for a new campus. That never materialized. Yale-New Haven’s purchase closes a long chapter in land that has been vacant for decades.