By Rochelle Broder-Singer | 5/12/2008
When real estate developer Linda Rozynes lost a South Miami-Dade apartment building to a storm in 2000, she knew she would rebuild the property -- as medical offices.
That was Rozynes' foray into the booming medical real-estate sector, a niche fueled by an expanding senior-citizen population and the trend of performing procedures outside of hospitals. Medical office rents are averaging $28.49 per square foot in Miami-Dade County and $24.05 in Broward, with occupancy at 95 percent in both counties, according to CB Richard Ellis.
The demand has drawn established medical developers and newcomers like Rozynes, as well as office condo developers targeting doctors.
Physicians seeking office space have some unique issues. First, they often spend as much as $50 to $100 per square foot to customize their offices, because they require specialized equipment -- such as plumbing and cabinetry, reinforced floors for heavy equipment and lead-lined rooms for X-ray machines and CT scanners.
''The cost for them to improve their space is extremely high,'' said Kenneth Weston, CEO of medical realestate specialist Kenneth Weston & Associates. ``So for them to move from office to office is extremely expensive.''
Then there's that location factor: Physicians need to have their offices close to their patients and, for many specialists, near a hospital.
Rozynes' 37,000-square-foot building, for example, is on Sunset Drive near 87th Avenue, close to Baptist and South Miami hospitals.
Still, leasing was a bit slow because of competition from office condos. In 2007, 652,329 square feet of office space sold, a good chunk of it targeted at the medical industry.
View PDF to continue reading. Read More