Real people: Jill Rasmussen
- January 6, 2012 - 7:34 AM
Principal, the Davis Group
Despite the sluggish economy and painfully slow commercial real estate market, The Davis Group is still developing and signing leases. That's because the Minneapolis company is focusing on the medical office market, which has remained relatively stable.
The company is finishing up its fourth Twin Cities medical office development since 2008 and has several more projects proposed. Principal Jill Rasmussen is also busy leasing and says clinics taking retail space in high-traffic, accessible locations is a hot trend. Rasmussen joined the company in 2009 and has been specializing in health care for two decades. In the last 10 years, she completed more than 500 medical/office transactions involving more than 3 million square feet and $300 million in value. She finds the complexity and specialized nature of health care deals fascinating.
QHow did you get started?
AI started at Southdale Medical Center and it became a niche. Real estate is such a huge component of what health care systems and doctor groups do and how they do it -- whether it's clinic space or surgery centers.
QIs health care a bright spot?
ABecause the rest of the real estate market is very slow, it seems like medical office is the only thing active. It isn't that now all of a sudden there's a huge development boom. It's just really strategic, stable growth.
QAre traditional office developers looking at health care?
AIt's really hard if you're a bigger office developer to shift into the medical arena based on the different health care system approvals needed and working with larger clinics. Also pricing is an issue. Health care real estate is hugely expensive due to the higher quality of the buildings and infrastructure needed for electric and plumbing.
QWhy are more clinics leasing retail space?
AHealth care has become more retail-like. Clinics want nicer facilities, fireplaces in the lobbies, and to be less "clinical." They want to be in visible areas near where their patients are -- and that's by the Targets, dry cleaners, and food. More retail spaces are available because retail has just been dead. For example, HealthEast is going into a Borders space. Allina took an Old Country Buffet, and HCMC took a Snyders space.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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