Hospital being transformed into mixed-use project.

Creative developers have taken unorthodox sites — power plants, factories and even airports — and transformed them into retail and mixed-use projects. You can now add hospitals to that list.

Boston-based developer VinCo Properties is turning a 93-acre former hospital into Chestnut Green in Foxborough, Mass. The project will include 203 single-family homes and condominiums, 98,000 square feet of office space and 55,000 square feet of retail. VinCo bought the property, which used to house the Foxborough State Hospital, from the State of Massachusetts for $5.15 million.

“The thing about this hospital that's unique is that it's a large tract of land in an infill location,” says Vincent O'Neill, president of VinCo Properties. “So we are getting into a heavily populated area and this is a great redevelopment opportunity.”

Such redevelopments are still rare, however, according to Anita Kramer, director of retail development with the Urban Land Institute. “A hospital with a fair amount of land and a location in an urbanized area is very attractive to focus on, but there aren't that many hospitals available to be reused,” she says.

VinCo plans to spend $100 million on Chestnut Green, including $2 million on internal demolition to break up the hospital's small rooms and $1 million on asbestos remediation. The retail portion of the project, set to include Walgreens, Ming Garden Restaurant and Postal Center USA, is currently 50 percent leased. It is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.