A rendering of the Shepherd Center expansion that will add about 160 housing units.

Shepherd Center said it has filed plans for a major expansion that will add housing for its patients and their families.

The project at 1860 Peachtree Road will add about 160 housing units, more than doubling the current housing provided by the rehabilitation hospital.

“Expanded housing will ensure that our patients are surrounded by the love and support they need and that families – no matter where they call home – can be a part of the rehabilitative journey,” Sarah Morrison, president and CEO of Shepherd Center, said in an announcement Thursday.

From April 2020 to March 2021, Shepherd Center said it served more than 740 inpatients and 250 day program patients. During that time period, more than half of Shepherd Center’s inpatients came from outside of Georgia and 72% came from outside of metro Atlanta.

In 2018, the Shepherd Center spent $20 million to purchase the property at Peachtree Road and 28th Street for the project. Last December, the hospital received an $80 million grant from the Marcus Foundation to aid its expansion efforts.

Shepherd Center co-founder James Shepherd Jr. had championed the land acquisition and expansion before his death in 2019. Shepherd Center was founded in 1975 after James sustained a spinal cord injury in 1973.

“My father often talked about how having his family close by during his rehabilitation made all the difference in his recovery,” said Jamie Shepherd, chief operating officer of Shepherd Center. “We are proud to provide a home away from home for our patients and their families and to be able to continue my father’s legacy of caring for both the patient and the family.”

The project team will include architecture firm Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio, development partner Wood Partners and contractor Brasfield & Gorrie.

Shepherd Center specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Since it was founded, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a 152-bed hospital.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.