Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Demand Increasing for Medical Office Space

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Demand Increasing for Medical Office Space

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - The 60,000-square-foot medical office building at 13100 N. Western Ave. has 35,000 square feet available for lease.

Monica Uhland is handling the leasing and said she thinks that space will go fast once it's complete. Uhland works for Emerson Commercial Real Estate.

"Since the trailer's been moved, the building's looking more like a building than a work site," she said. "We've got a lot of specialists looking (for space). If a large group wants to come in and take a big bulk, they'll have the opportunity to have naming rights on the building."

The demand for vacant medical office space is growing as physicians are leaving hospital campuses to find their own places. In some instances, a real estate investment trust purchases the hospital buildings and the REIT increases the rent rate to get a higher return. For other physicians, they want to return to having their own practice.

St. Anthony Physicians President Kevin Lewis said it has become more important for hospitals to properly manage their real estate because medical reimbursements are declining. He said office space on medical campuses is highly sought after; therefore, a hospital may have to decide what medical practitioner should be closer to the facility. At St. Anthony, independent physicians and hospital- employed doctors are seen as equal partners to the hospital's success, he said.

The downtown hospital could use more office space, Lewis said. The $53 million expansion added a larger emergency department, intensive care units and inpatient care areas.

"We'll be searching for more office space," he said. "We created the capacity we needed. The popularity of Midtown and the popularity of the population coming back to downtown, and the hot commodity of nearby neighborhoods - I get more and more physicians saying, 'I want to be with St. Anthony's and I want to be in downtown or Midtown.'"

At St. Anthony's Healthplexes across the metro, Lewis said there is space for lease. But he doesn't expect that to last long.

"By the middle of 2017, I won't have any more space in there," he said. "We're looking now at how we can expand, and if that means St. Anthony's takes on more of the space in each of those buildings. …

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