NORFOLK, VA-Amid a slowing of office building construction that has prompted many developers to delay, scale down or suspend a host of projects throughout the country, a $70 million medical office building here, plus four new projects in Texas, attest to the resilience of health care real estate despite the downturn. The projects, details of which were revealed last week, include the 195,890-square-foot Fort Norfolk Plaza plus two medical office buildings and two hospitals near Waco, TX.

Tag Birge, senior vice president for healthcare at Indianapolis-based Lauth, explains that Fort Norfolk Plaza “seemed like a long shot” for a time because no new commercial medical office buildings had been built in the Downtown Norfolk medical district in nearly 40 years and efforts to develop a new MOB near the Eastern Virginia Medical Center campus appeared stalled as recently as last year. But Lauth has now joint-ventured with local cardiologist Dr. Keith H. Newby Sr. to develop the nine-story Fort Norfolk Plaza on a 2.8-acre infill site across Brambleton Avenue from the city’s medical district.

Following the recent close of financing for the $70 million project, Lauth has started construction of the MOB and its connected 904-space parking deck. The project was announced nearly three years ago but had been delayed by a slowing economy and other factors.

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