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GREENVILLE, NC-Nottingham Partners LLC plans to break ground in the second quarter on a 45,000-square-foot medical office building with 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 120-room hotel adjacent to the 731-bed Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The site for the three-story office building and hotel, named Carlton Place, is located at Moye Boulevard and NC Highway 43 within the University Medical Park North. Locally based Hudson Brothers and Hite & Associates will serve as general contractor and architect for the medical office building, with delivery in the first quarter of 2010.

Major expansion in the medical district, including a new $178-million cardiac institute, is a driving factor for the location of the new development, says Brett Griffith, partner at Nottingham Partners. The class A project, along with an upscale select-service hotel, will support a demand created by the new teaching facility, he says.

The region is also home to East Carolina University, which has a nursing, medical and dental school within a complex three miles from the construction site. ECU is trying to expand enrollment by 8,000 students over the next five years, adds Griffith.

The office building is valued at $8.5 million and the hotel is valued at $14.5 million, says Mark Fletcher, partner at Herndon, VA-based Nottingham Partners. The development company says that it is in talks with numerous banks that will provide financing. Average triple-net leasing rates are $19.50 per square foot for the medical office space and $21 per square foot for the retail space. No leases have been signed to date. The broker representing the project is Mike Waldrop of Kittrell, Armstrong and Waldrop LLC.

These are the developer’s first two projects in Greenville. “We have a mission for our business which is to find second- and third-tier underserved markets with a large influence of medical and demographics for higher education,” says Fletcher.

Experts predict medical-related developments will weather the current economic storm better than other sectors, according to a recent GlobeSt.com analysis piece. Aging baby boomers seek continued healthcare, creating a strong demand for the product despite the downturn. Medical office tenants are also considered to be stable, long term, and creditworthy, making such developments more resilient to shifts in the economy and real estate industry as a whole.

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