Samaritan purchases two Washington Street properties; plan for use to come later

·2 min read

Jul. 29—WATERTOWN — Samaritan Medical Center recently purchased two Washington Street properties, though there are no definitive plans yet for the sites.

The buildings, at 716 and 720 Washington St., were purchased together for a total of $550,000, with paperwork filed for the sale on July 20. Leslie M. DiStefano, director of communication and public relations, said that because Samaritan is landlocked, any properties for sale bring an opportunity.

This is not the first time Samaritan has purchased property around town. Over the years, it has bought several houses and transformed them into an additional building or parking lot space. The two new properties are adjacent to Samaritan's corner lot on Washington Street and abut its property on Woodruff Street, so they're advantageous for Samaritan as far as connecting its existing facilities, Mrs. DiStefano said.

"There are several options, but it's really determining kind of what the community need is and then working with the state Department of Health to figure out the process as to how we go about if we were to build anything, getting their approvals as well, and then obviously working through all the city and code enforcement and whatnot," she said. "I think the critical element here is that your hospital, your acute-care facility, is kind of the hub of activity, whether it's testing or surgery, or just resources in general. So having different community-based services as close to your hub or your hospital is really important."

She said it's important to think about plans strategically, and what services need to expand or need different facilities or parking. Typically, capacity and volume are reviewed, and a lot of it starts internally, Mrs. DiStefano said.

"I think at this point, we're just assessing and evaluating and I don't anticipate anything will happen relatively quickly, but we certainly are excited about the possibilities," Mrs. DiStefano said.