Miami Jewish Health receives multimillion-dollar donations for expansion

Miami Jewish Health's plans for its redeveloped 20-acre campus (Credit: Miami Jewish Health)
Miami Jewish Health's plans for its redeveloped 20-acre campus (Credit: Miami Jewish Health)

UPDATED Feb. 2, 4:15 p.m. Nonprofit senior health care provider Miami Jewish Health Systems has announced two multimillion-dollar donations for its future $200 million expansion of its Buena Vista campus. 

Plans call for several new buildings for the campus at 5200 Northeast Second Avenue, as well as a $51 million 99-unit Memory Care Village, and an “EmpathiCare” project for $5 million.

Donors included the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation, which contributed $2.5 million, and real estate broker Edie Laquer, who contributed $5 million. In addition to donations, the Miami Jewish Health CEO Jeffrey Freimark told the South Florida Business Journal the plans would be funded with operating capital, and a recently issued $50 million tax-exempt bond will be used for improvements to existing structures.

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The first phase of construction would be the Memory Care Village, which Freimark described as a “self-contained village where folks with some form of cognitive disorder could reside in a residential living environment that would be secure without being prohibitive in how it’s perceived by residents.” Phase one would be completed in 2018, and would include a store, spa, wellness center, cafe and art center and a three-story garage.

Miami Jewish Health Systems is seeking city of Miami approval for a special area plan, a mechanism allowing property owners of nine or more abutting acres to develop a master plan that includes rezoning that allows for taller structures in exchange for improvements to public and private infrastructure, including quality streetscape designs. Other recent SAP applicants include the nearby Eastridge project at 5045 Northeast Second Avenue.

Miami Jewish Health Systems would implement the 20-acre project in four phases, with the last one being completed by 2036. [SFBJ] – Gabrielle Paluch