Dedication to healthcare real estate expertise sets Colliers apart

by | 14 December 2017

Tampa Bay healthcare providers need a real estate partner that knows healthcare. That’s why clients like Florida Orthopaedic Institute and Women’s Care Florida rely on Colliers’ specialized expertise.

“Longevity in healthcare is earned,” says Colliers International’s Jim Allen, Executive Managing Director, Healthcare and Office Services, who has spent the last twenty years in healthcare real estate. “It’s complex and tough. It’s not very common for someone to be in commercial real estate for six months and pull off a significant healthcare real estate deal. Specialization pays dividends in CRE, when someone is seasoned and understands all the moving parts there is a higher probability the deal will get done.”

That experience and local knowledge has served the Colliers Tampa Bay team of Mr. Allen and his colleague Juan Vega, a 20-year commercial and healthcare real estate veteran who shares the same title. The team focuses on satisfying the real estate needs and of  some of the largest medical companies in Tampa Bay’s healthcare and senior living sectors. The two work closely with medical, healthcare and office tenants, owners and investors, managers, administrators, facility planning departments, physicians, and real estate departments to create and maximize value while securing strategic, cost-effective facility solutions.

Together, Mr. Allen and Mr. Vega lease about 1 million square feet of institutionalized space from a variety of healthcare companies, including Welltower, American Healthcare Investors, Healthcare Realty Trust, HTA, Women’s Care Florida and Florida Orthopaedic Institute, among others.

“With significant healthcare investment sales, agency, tenant representation, build-to-suit, land sales and senior living, we have a well-rounded understanding of a complex healthcare market,” Mr. Allen says.

The extensive experience of the team in the CRE and HRE space has proven highly successful in helping two of Tampa Bay’s largest health systems – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) and Women’s Care Florida (WCF) – realize important goals and milestones, including significant financial savings.

“Along with mixing healthcare and real estate to provide the right knowledge in the healthcare environment, one of our hallmarks is our fiduciary concern for the client’s behalf,” Mr. Vega says.

When FOI, desired to maximize and strategically locate one of their most needed facilities in the Tampa Bay metro, they turned to Colliers. The team assisted FOI in pinpointing that location with detailed analyses in the critical areas of demographics, demand growth, and market share and specialty demand.

“I worked closely with Florida Orthopaedic,” Mr. Allen notes. “We ran and analyzed a number of specialty demand studies for them where orthopedic demand was underserved, or there was a reason or opportunity to expand or consolidate any combination of their 14 offices.”

Colliers analyses most recently led to FOI becoming the anchor tenant of Brandon Gateway Medical Plaza, a 53,000-square-foot multitenant medical office building being developed in Brandon, Fla., by Ryan Companies. FOI’s 29,000 square foot clinical suite will squarely connect them with their growing patient base in the Brandon submarket.

“The Colliers team has helped FOI with multiple projects over multiple years, including helping us to pinpoint an excellent location where they determined our services are definitely needed, or consolidate offices where demand isn’t as high” says Mark Katzin, FOI’s Chief Operating Officer. “When it opens in 2018, our new suite in Brandon will be built out as an orthopaedic clinic and administrative offices, featuring 30 exam rooms and X-ray and MRI machines. Patients will also be able to receive physical and occupational therapy. The facility will be designed with the newest technology and treatment options to provide patients with all of the care they need at one location.”

In addition to helping FOI find a great location, the building’s developer, Ryan Companies, has asked Colliers International to lease out the remaining 24,000 square feet of the facility.

“Ryan liked what we did, and our approach, and then said, “Why don’t you lease the rest of the building?” So, we are leasing the balance of the building,” Mr. Allen says.

The Colliers Tampa Bay team has also helped FOI consolidate two offices into one 27,000 square foot space that was formerly a Borders Book Store. The repurposing process took a good deal of negotiation, skill and expertise.

“The location had high traffic and drive time accessibility, but medical was not an allowed use,” Mr. Allen recalls. “One of the interesting things was J. Alexander’s (a restaurant) was the co-tenant. We had to prove to them that FOI would be a better source of traffic to the restaurant and a medical use could be synergistic – even more synergistic than Borders had been. At the time, retail didn’t cater to healthcare and they thought it was a bad fit. However, now retail is embracing selective healthcare specialties as a good co-tenant. That was five years ago, and a big hurdle we had to overcome.”

Similarly, when Women’s Care Florida desired to build a premier outpatient center in Tampa, they counted on their tenant representative Colliers to help find the most desirable location for the physician group’s hub for its west and central Florida locations. Convenient drive time and an accessible area were of the utmost importance to WCF.

“We included 26 different clinics and looked at the affiliated drive time for each, over time we narrowed our site search for a parcel that would work,” says Mr. Allen.

Colliers found the perfect spot for the three-story, 63,829 square foot women’s specialty health outpatient center in the Westshore submarket, which is a convenient patient centric location.

“WCF initially contracted for the parcel and it was assigned to the selected developer,” recalls Mr. Allen. “But it also goes deeper, The Colliers developer selection process created competition which empowered WCF and Colliers to negotiate attractive terms and conditions.  Initially some of the comments and the requirements from the developers were a little more stringent than we felt were reasonable. We focused on specifications, the team, function and cost with in the process for Women’s Care Florida,” he says.

“As a tenant representative, there is a list of key items and scenarios  that we address and aggressively pursue,   the value-add is very measurable,” Mr. Allen says. “We understand operational needs, safety, hours of operations, and things like Florida sales tax on rent, and we protect our client. From where we started to where we ended up equated to significant dollars. WCF easily recognized the value-add on how Colliers was able to orchestrate the process, they secured what they wanted which was a functional and cost-effective specialty center.” The bonus was that the building was awarded building of the year for new medical office building in the 50-100K square feet category.

When asked what sets apart the Colliers team from others in the Tampa Bay area, the two agree wholeheartedly, because they’ve seen it repeatedly.

“The common thread is a quantifiable value-add with very specific, boots-on-the-ground medical office knowledge,” Mr. Vega says

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