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Houston Methodist reveals details of new $1.4B tower

A new 26-floor tower is expected to rise in the Texas Medical Center and deliver in 2027. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Construction has begun on a $1.4 billion hospital tower at the Texas Medical Center.

Houston Methodist’s 26-story Centennial Tower will be connected to the Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower, which opened in 2018. Among other things, the new tower will feature a larger emergency department and hundreds of patient beds. It’s scheduled to open in 2027.

“Together, the towers will add an impressive profile to the Texas Medical Center skyline,” says Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “We are building this for our community, showing our commitment to the future of health care at Houston Methodist as we continue leading medicine for decades to come.”

The new tower will connect to the Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower, which opened in 2018. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Highlights of Centennial Tower include:

  • A new emergency department with 54 beds and additional suites.
  • Nearly 400 patient beds, including 175 new beds and 207 beds to replace those in Houston Methodist’s Main building. That building and the West Pavilion eventually will be torn down.
  • New space for transplant medicine, intermediate care, and surgical intensive care.
  • Nine operating rooms, including two new operating rooms.
  • A 14th-floor rooftop garden.

The adjacent Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower houses the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute.

Albany, New York-based design firm EYP is Centennial Tower’s architect, and Houston-based Vaughn Construction is the general contractor.

Centennial Tower’s 14th floor will feature an outdoor rooftop garden. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

EYP recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In connection with the voluntary bankruptcy filing, Tampa, Florida-based Ault Alliance has agreed to buy the majority of EYP’s assets (including customer contracts) for $67.7 million, plus the assumption of “significant” liabilities. Ault plans to retain EYP’s staff. If the deal goes through, EYP would operate under its current brand name.

“EYP is a good candidate to use the protections that a Chapter 11 process provides,” says Kefalari Maso, interim CEO of EYP. “Our business is as strong as it has ever been, and the advantages … are that it allows us to continue doing the work we love while quickly moving through a sale process that further strengthens our financial position, allowing us to shape a future that matches our success over the last few years.”

The tower's plans include a new emergency department with 54 beds and additional suites. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

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Building Houston

 
 

Juliana Garaizar is now the chief development and investment officer at Greentown Labs, as well as continuing to be head of the Houston incubator. Image courtesy of Greentown

The new year has brought some big news from Greentown Labs.

The Somerville, Massachusetts-based climatetech incubator with its second location at Greentown Houston named a new member to its C-suite, is seeking new Houston team members, and has officially finished its transition into a nonprofit.

Juliana Garaizar, who originally joined Greentown as launch director ahead of the Houston opening in 2021, has been promoted from vice president of innovation to chief development and investment officer.

"I'm refocusing on the Greentown Labs level in a development role, which means fundraising for both locations and potentially new ones," Garaizar tells InnovationMap. "My role is not only development, but also investment. That's something I'm very glad to be pursuing with my investment hat. Access to capital is key for all our members, and I'm going to be in charge of refining and upgrading our investment program."

While she will also maintain her role as head of the Houston incubator, Greentown Houston is also hiring a general manager position to oversee day-to-day and internal operations of the hub. Garaizar says this role will take some of the internal-facing responsibilities off of her plate.

"Now that we are more than 80 members, we need more internal coordination," she explains. "Considering that the goal for Greentown is to grow to more locations, there's going to be more coordination and, I'd say, more autonomy for the Houston campus."

The promotion follows a recent announcement that Emily Reichert, who served as CEO for the company for a decade, has stepped back to become CEO emeritus. Greentown is searching for its next leader and CFO Kevin Taylor is currently serving as interim CEO. Garaizar says the transition is representative of Greentown's future as it grows to more locations and a larger organization.

"Emily's transition was planned — but, of course, in stealth mode," Garaizar says, adding that Reichert is on the committee that's finding the new CEO. "She thinks scaling is a different animal from putting (Greentown) together, which she did really beautifully."

Garaizar says her new role will include overseeing Greentown's new nonprofit status. She tells InnovationMap that the organization originally was founded as a nonprofit, but converted to a for-profit in order to receive a loan at its first location. Now, with the mission focus Greentown has and the opportunities for grants and funding, it was time to convert back to a nonprofit, Garaizar says.

"When we started fundraising for Houston, everyone was asking why we weren't a nonprofit. That opened the discussion again," she says. "The past year we have been going through that process and we can finally say it has been completed.

"I think it's going to open the door to a lot more collaboration and potential grants," she adds.

Greentown is continuing to grow its team ahead of planned expansion. The organization hasn't yet announced its next location — Garaizar says the primary focus is filling the CEO position first. In Houston, the hub is also looking for an events manager to ensure the incubator is providing key programming for its members, as well as the Houston innovation community as a whole.

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