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DALLAS-A joint venture, armed with $100 million, will build upward of 500,000 sf of medical-related properties, starting in Dallas-Fort Worth. The key players are LaSalle Investment Management Inc. of Chicago and Cambridge Holdings Inc. of Dallas.

Jean-Claude Saada, Cambridge’s chairman and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com that the JV “is a very competitive partnership arrangement.” The plans are hot topics for discussion, but not the percentage interest or terms, being fueled by a $400-million LaSalle fund for buying and developing medical properties in the US. The LaSalle-Cambridge partnership will bring new product and some acquisitions to Texas, New York, New Jersey and San Diego…for starters.

Medical-related properties have been hot tickets throughout the recession. No longer perceived as a cottage industry, the focus is to break into the suburbs with office buildings, state-of-the-art ambulatory centers and even specialized hospitals with small bed counts. It’s a win-win as patients get services closer to homes and providers corner a market share of the rising dollars from health-care reimbursement tied to an aging population. North Texas’ major health-care systems, Baylor, Tenet, Columbia and Texas Health Resources, have a five-year development pipeline reported to be in excess of $1 billion.

The LaSalle-Cambridge JV carved out its sites, primarily through ground leases, on hospital campuses in the Texas Health Resources System. First in the JV’s line-up is the 81,000-sf Physicians Medical Center and ambulatory surgery center at Greenville Avenue and Phoenix Drive on the campus of Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Designed by HKS and being built by Austin Commercial, the building broke ground about three months ago and will deliver in September 2003. It’s the first building on the Presbyterian campus that is not hospital-owned.

The JV also is putting the finishing touches to plans for projects in Southlake and Plano, more Texas Health Resources’ sites. Two more metroplex sites are in negotiations.

In San Diego, a 100,000-sf building will break ground in second quarter 2003 on the Sharp Memorial Hospital campus. The first and second quarters also will bring the start of construction in New York City and New Jersey, according to Saada.

The LaSalle-Cambridge plan includes a component for physician buy-ins on the real estate. “This is an option not an obligation,” Saada explains. What they do get for their rent dollars are offices in “Smart” buildings, where an integrated technology platform is part of the state-of-the-art centers with a “one-stop shop” gamut of services. The 15-year-old Cambridge Holdings’ portfolio contains 1.5 million sf in 11 states.

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