PHOENIX—More than 400 attended the 2014 RealShareHealthcare Real Estate conference held at the Phoenicianin Scottsdale where Kate Morris, first vicepresident, CBRE, moderated the panel: NewTrends in Marketing and Leasing. Joining her as panelistswere John Wadsworth, vice president, Irvine andnational director, Healthcare Services Group, ColliersInternational; Mike Noto, senior vicepresident, Management Services Group, Health CareREIT; and Julie Johnson, executive vicepresident, GPE Commercial Advisors.

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Johnson said this is the year of implementation. “After theAffordable Care Act, people knew how it would affect theirpractices, but people still need real estate—now they've startedtaking action steps.”

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“It's been active on the acquisition front,” said Noto. “2014 isthe year to sell. As technology advances, we're seeing more of amove out of hospitals and into MOBs.”

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“As the trend of consolidation ensues,” said Wadsworth, “theevolution of the tenant continues. The lifeblood is the tenant. Thetenant has evolved significantly because the consumer wants betteraccess, visibility and convenience.”

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Johnson said providers are looking for visibility because theyhave branding needs. This leads them to lease different types ofspaces. One major Phoenix mall, for example, has a70,000-square-foot medical tenant.

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“Thin margins are getting thinner, so you can't afford to messup on a real estate deal. Product will become obsolete pretty soon.The medical community wants larger blocks of space to operate moreefficiently.”

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“You've got to have a good architect and take a look at spacesto create 5,000-plus square foot spaces. You've got to updatecommon areas and signage, and maybe consider timeshare suites,”said Johnson. ”The retail model is here to stay.”

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Wadsworth agreed with Johnson and stated, “It's consumercentric. Leasing non-traditional spaces has to continue.”

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“Those that are progressive thinkers, to them, real estate is astrategy and retail is a great way to do it,” said Noto. “Arepurposed grocery store is a good example. Old Walmart locationsare great, they have good visibility. We've seen hospital-sponsoredprojects like this.”

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Wadsworth said if the medical community is not talking aboutpost-acute strategy, they should be. “There needs to be expansionof post-acute care. It's a great opportunity to reposition a pieceof real estate,” he said.

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“Seven years ago, the average medical office was 2,300 squarefeet; today it's 40,000. The leasing process is taking muchlonger,” said Noto. “There is more red lining and moreconversations back and forth during the leasing process.”

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Noto agreed: “Deals are getting more scrutinized, takinglonger.”

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Morris added, “Landlords who are not used to healthcare realestate can be difficult; you have to do a lot of educating.”

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“With reimbursements being capped, healthcare systems arelooking for savings and huge part of that is real estate,” saidNoto.

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