Back on track: Thanks to help from new partners, Medistar has re-launched construction on the Bay Area Regional Medical Center.

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HOUSTON-All systems certainly seemed to be “go” back in 2007 when Medistar Corp. landed an operating partner for a new privately owned hospital it had planned for Webster, TX, southeast of Houston. Everything remained on track after construction started and the glass-skinned shell of the hospital was completed by 2008.

But when the Houston-based medical real estate firm’s original hospital operating partner in the project backed out in 2009 and financing became difficult to land, construction was put on hold.

Until recently.

With Franklin, TN.-based Surgical Development Partners emerging as the new operator and financing coming from Kansas City, MO-based Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT, Medistar once again has the hospital project moving forward.

The opening could take place by the end of 2013, as Medistar needs only to complete the interior build-out of the future Bay Area Regional Medical Center (BARMC) 200 Blossom St., as well as a 674-stall parking garage. The 17.5-acre campus on which Medistar is finishing the hospital has been providing medical services since 2005, when the company completed a 110-bed long-term acute hospital and then, a year later, completed a 110,000-square-foot medical office building.

The company has since sold those two facilities: the LTACH to Birmingham, AL-based Medical Properties Trust Inc. and the MOB to Healthcare Trust of America Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ.

The nine-story acute care hospital, which can eventually be expanded from nine to 11 floors and 248 beds, has been designed to withstand winds of up to 255 miles per hour – in excess of winds generated by a Category 5 hurricane.Despite the delays that the hospital project has endured, Medistar’s CEO, Manzer Hourani, says the timing has actually worked out quite well.

“The economy is good in this area, there is tremendous growth there and there is a tremendous need for another hospital – even more demand than there was a few years ago,” Hourani remarks. “We have completed and lined up an excellent syndication of doctors to staff the new hospital, and I really believe it will be one of the best hospitals in terms of the quality of care … anywhere in the Greater Houston area.”

According to Medistar, the 373,000-square-foot BARMC is to be a tertiary, acute-care and digital hospital. Its physicians will have significant input on the quality of patient care, and the hospital will offer both inpatient and outpatient services. Included will be three medical/surgical floors, operating rooms, endoscopy procedure rooms, emergency department treatment rooms, ED pediatric observation units, intensive care units and neonatal ICU units. The architect on the Webster hospital project is PageSoutherlandPage of Birmingham, AL; the general contractor is Houston-based Linbeck Group

Hourani notes that Medistar and its operating partner at BARMC — Surgical Development Partners — are also teaming up on the development of a new eight-story hospital in Dallas across from the future Presbyterian Hospital, which will be completed in August of 2013. 

John Mugford is the Editor of Healthcare Real Estate Insights™, the nation’s first and only publication totally dedicated to covering news and trends in healthcare real estate development, financing and investment. For more information, please visit