Friday, August 8, 2014

Developers Start $22M Project in Chester County, PA

by John Mugford, Editor, Healthcare Real Estate Insights

Creating “medical destinations” where patients can receive a variety of outpatient services in a “one-stop shop” continues to be a valuable, important strategy for providers looking to expand their brands in today’s ultra-competitive healthcare environment.
As the population continues to grow in Chester County in southeastern Pennsylvania, two firms well-known in the healthcare real estate (HRE) sector are embarking on a project they expect will help attract patients to a major healthcare system looking to expand its market share in the area.
The firms are Wilmington, DE-based Anchor Health Properties and White Plains, NY-based Seavest Healthcare Properties LLC. The two are teaming up on the development of the 72,000 square foot, $22 million Jennersville Medical Office Building (MOB) on a highly visible 45-acre site at Pennsylvania Routes 1 and 796. The site is about 40 miles west of Philadelphia and 17 miles northwest of Wilmington.
Anchoring the MOB will be physicians and services of the 220-bed Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, located about 20 miles to the east in West Chester, PA. The hospital recently became part of Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania Health System, otherwise known as Penn Medicine.
The formerly independent Chester County Hospital originally planned the facility with Anchor Health Properties. It was after the planning was initiated that the hospital became part of Penn Medicine, says Jonathan L. “John” Winer, executive VP of Seavest.
According to Anchor Health Properties, the goal of the project is to create a “one-stop shop” complete with an outpatient surgery center as well as new, expanded and consolidated services. The architect is ARRAY Architects of King of Prussia, PA, and the construction manager is The Norwood Co. of Malvern, PA.
Physicians and groups that are part of Penn Medicine and Chester County Hospital will occupy about 80 percent of the building, with the remaining space being 100 percent pre-leased to other local practices, Winer says.
“It is a growing area and for Penn Medicine Chester County it is a project that will allow it to cement its presence there – there were some other systems looking at developing footholds in the area as well,” Winer says. “And as for the site itself, it is highly visible along a major roadway there, Route 1, and it will really enhance the brand for Penn Medicine and Chester County Hospital in that area.”
The facility is scheduled to open in spring 2015, and because of the size of the site – 45 acres – there is a possibility that other projects could follow if demand warrants.
“Nothing is on the drawing board yet,” Winer says.
While Seavest has formed numerous joint ventures on projects nationwide, the Chester County facility marks the first time it has worked with Anchor, Winer says. The two firms, however, plan to team up on more projects in the future.

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