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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 6, 202004:30 PM EST

St. Johns County Commission approves incentives for Encompass Health rehab hospital

The Birmingham, Alabama-based health system also is planning a hospital in Jacksonville.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

The St. Johns County Commission on Oct. 6 unanimously approved incentives for one of Encompass Health’s two planned rehabilitation hospitals in Northeast Florida.

Encompass will build a 47,700-square-foot, 40-bed rehabilitation hospital at northwest Silver Lane and Florida 207 in St. Augustine. It will be operational by the first quarter of 2022, according to a St. Johns County Economic Development memo.

Construction is expected to begin early next year. Encompass plans to hire about 100 workers and add jobs as operations expand, Encompass Health Chief Strategy and Development Officer David Klementz said. It will hire 125 within the first five years of operation.

The average salary is estimated between $65,000 and $70,000. 

The estimated value of the incentives is $786,305. They comprise 100% of the impact fees and water and sewer connection fees paid to the county, four years of ad valorem taxes and tangible business personal property tax and an expedited permitting process. 

Encompass expects to invest about $30 million to build the hospital, including the cost of land, construction and equipment. 

Birmingham, Alabama-based Encompass Health operates about 140 rehabilitation hospitals nationwide. 

The rehab hospital will care for patients recovering from strokes and neurological disorders; orthopedic, cardiac and pulmonary conditions; brain and spinal cord injuries; and amputations.

The health system also announced in August it is planning a 50-bed hospital in Jacksonville, but did not say where. It will offer similar services to the St. Augustine hospital. The Jacksonville hospital is estimated to open in the second half of 2022. Encompass Health has not applied for incentives in Duval County. 

Klementz said Oct. 6 that Encompass operates or has announced 13 rehabilitation hospitals in Florida. The two Northeast Florida locations will expand that footprint, he said. 

“The demographics and that population are conducive to our type of care,” Klementz said. “There’s plenty of opportunity.”

Encompass also provides home health care in Jacksonville through Encompass Home Health of Jacksonville at 9143 Philips Highway. Those services will be integrated with the hospital. 

Encompass saw a need for more post-acute care in the region, Klementz said. With so many acute care facilities in Jacksonville, Klementz said it made sense to build hospitals in the area.

“In that particular market, we saw those as two separate counties with different levels of demand,” he said. “We saw a demand for this level of service in both of those counties.”

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