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Florida's hospital construction trend rises to meet population growth

In 2024, Jupiter Medical Center and UF Health hope to open a “neighborhood hospital” with an ER, inpatient beds, operating rooms and other services in Avenir, a new residential development in northwest Palm Beach County — another sign of a boomlet in hospital construction in Florida.

Through the first eight months of the year, the square footage of hospital construction in Florida was up 64% to 1.9 million square feet and the dollar value was up 125% to $1.15 billion, reports Dodge Construction Network.

Metro Jacksonville led the state in hospital construction starts by both dollar value and square footage, with Southeast Florida close behind.

Nationally, the trends also are up but not by nearly the same scale. Through August, hospital construction in the United States was up 24% in square footage and 26% in dollar value, Dodge says.

Kim Kennedy, director of forecasting for the Dodge Construction Network, which compiles the data, notes that Dodge puts the full dollar value and square footage of a project in the month the project starts. Because of that, big projects have a large impact on monthly totals for smaller geographies such as states and counties compared to the national numbers. “That said, I think the hospital construction market both in Florida and across the U.S. has been a strong one this year,” she says.

Kennedy also says that rising costs of materials and construction wages likely are influencing the rise in the dollar value of projects started.

“With the exponential population growth in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas comes the need for innovative and diverse health care offerings,” UF Health President David R. Nelson said in announcing the Avenir project.