Jim McDonald, director of development for Ryan, says his firmwill own the facility when it is finished, and that about40,000-square-feet are under letters of intent. "We've haddiscussions with a healthcare system about tenancy, and we look tocarry those discussions into the first quarter of next year,"McDonald tells GlobeSt.com.

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Medical office construction is still very strong, though theeconomy will likely slow new projects, he says. "It's the same asany other sector right now," McDonald says. "Healthcare groups aregoing to put a hold on capital expenditures, look at deals with ahigher measuring stick and be more frugal. Deals are going to betougher to do, and lenders are going to be more cautious, at leastfor the next six to eight months."

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The economy has hit its worst in Michigan, particularly in theDetroit area. While this project is in the far north suburbs ofOakland County, the state's richest area, the land is also inPontiac, known as one of the most challenged cities in Michigan."We don't have nervousness about the location," McDonald says."There is a gap, a need for medical office development here.Oakland County has great demographics, the site has great access tothe highway, and the rooftops and retail make it a great site."Great Lakes Crossing, a Taubman mall, is a relatively new,1.4-million-square-foot center.

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Mason Capitani, EVP with Troy, MI-based L. Mason Capitani, saidin a statement that the vacancy rates for medical office remainrelatively low, especially in northern Oakland, at reportedlyaround 11%. He is joined by Gary Grochowski, SVP, in leasing thefacility.

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