Colliers’ willingness to ‘be the client’ serves Dignity Health well

by | 08 June 2018

*Artist’s rendering Courtesy Dignity Health Medical Foundation

California-based Dignity Health recently formalized a 15-year relationship with the Colliers’ Sacramento Healthcare Services team, headed by Bill Swettenham and Eric Ortiz. Bill and Eric will oversee real estate services for the organization in Central and Northern California, including the greater Sacramento area, and Nevada.

The Colliers relationship with one of the nation’s largest health systems began in 2003 when Dignity Health, then Catholic Healthcare West, approached Mr. Swettenham to help identify a corporate campus site.

“I received a call from Jeff Land (Dignity Health’s senior vice president of corporate real estate) on the proposed project,” Mr. Swettenham recalls. “While underway, there was a change in direction and we moved the project to an existing building under a very tight schedule. That project led Dignity Health to ask if I could help them with medical requirements, which started a wonderful relationship that Eric and I have continued.”

Mr. Ortiz adds, “Our relationship has continued to be very productive. Our work includes a wide-range of projects across compliance, opinions of value, and build-to-suits that range from 35,000 up to 120,000 square feet and include multiple lease types. Dignity Health is always looking for ways to improve patient care services. Real estate is a big piece of the puzzle and Colliers is proactive in helping them to achieve their goals.”

“Our goal at Dignity Health is to incorporate human kindness into the totality of the patient and visitor experience when they enter any of our facilities,” said Land. “Colliers has fully embraced that idea and helped us bring these critical concepts into reality.”

The range of services Colliers has provided encompasses many facets of health care real estate.

When Dignity Health needed to upgrade its clinic near Woodland Hospital, they asked Colliers for help. The result was the East Woodland Care Center, a 35,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art one-story medical office building located within a Class A retail development in Woodland, a small, tertiary submarket of Sacramento.

The project was part of a $21 million investment in the community. With more than 30 providers, 81 exam rooms, three procedure rooms and a variety of services including primary and specialty care services, dermatology, endocrinology, family medicine, occupational health, pediatrics, rheumatology, the facility has the potential to care for around 500 patients a day and also features Woodland’s only Urgent Care facility.

“It was a two- to three-year process that required waivers from anchor tenants like Target, Best Buy and Costco to allow medical use. And it is a prime example of locating a health care facility in a Class A retail location, so it is easily accessible to patients because the shopping center is right on the I-5 freeway,” explains Mr. Ortiz. “It’s the best shopping center in the city and a great place to build a flagship property for Dignity Health. They opened their doors to patients in 2016, and it’s been a great success.”

Another key built-to-suit project Colliers has spearheaded for Dignity Health is their most recent major collaboration, a 68,000-square-foot, three-story multipurpose medical office building (MOB), located in Citrus Heights, CA. Dignity Health had wanted to build a care facility in the area, but needed to find an appropriate site. Thanks to Mr. Swettenham’s persistence and a creative solution devised by Dignity Health and Tim Schaedler of Panattoni Development, a new project is now under construction in a prime and historically interesting location as the former site of the Citrus Heights City Hall.

When complete, the new Mercy Medical Group Citrus Heights MOB will leverage the latest technology in the state-of-the-art medical office building that will serve the growing medical needs of the community with a wide range of primary and specialty care services including: allergy, behavioral health, dermatology, endocrinology, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, ophthalmology, optometry, pain management, pediatrics and rheumatology.

“The built environment of any health care facility greatly affects patients, families, friends, visitors and staff, so Dignity Health applies research and science to create care environments that promote the best recovery possible,” added Mr. Land. “We chose to partner with Colliers because they have demonstrated a willingness to help us ensure that we apply a deep understanding of patient needs to every hospital environment.”

The Colliers Difference

Mr. Ortiz believes that the relationship with Dignity Health continues to thrive because of the entrepreneurial and strategic thinking that Collier’s brings to the table. “We really try to keep our ears to the ground so that we can take advantage of opportunities in the market before they happen.”

Mr. Swettenham adds, “The secret to the relationship is that we always try to see the world from our client’s perspective and that often means looking at things with a wide lens.”

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