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LOS ANGELES-CB Richard Ellis has won a management and leasing assignment from Scottsdale, AZ-based Healthcare Trust of America Inc. for 1.9 million square feet of properties in the nontraded REIT’s Southeast and Northeast regions, Ohio, Colorado and Utah. CBRE will be responsible for all day-to-day operations, lease negotiations, construction management and tenant relations as well as maintaining property performance.

Andrew Genova, Washington, DC-based senior managing director of Strategic Accounts at CBRE, tells GlobeSt.com that the L.A.-based firm won the assignment in competition with about five other companies. He points out that CBRE has built its portfolio of managed healthcare and medical office properties to nearly 40 million square feet by developing healthcare asset management as one of its specialities.

“It really is a different business, and that’s why we have a healthcare-focused specialty,” Genova says. He explains that managing healthcare assets requires people who are familiar with medical office buildings, hospitals, hospital administration and the specific requirements of medical professionals who lease office space. “It’s different from traditional office leasing, so it requires specialists to be brought to the table,” Genova says. As an example, he points out, “When you lease to a doctor, it’s a personal matter because the office is much like an extension of his or her home, so it requires a different level of understanding.”

Winning the new account illustrates the strength of CBRE’s Strategic Accounts model, according to Genova, who points out that the Strategic Accounts approach incorporates “the best practices from each of our business lines” and brings them to the client “through a single point of contact so that the client can manage and leverage CBRE very efficiently.” In the case of the Healthcare Trust account, the client contact is Ron Patzer, a CBRE senior director based in Minneapolis who reports to Genova.

Genova and Steve Bassett, Denver-based senior managing director with CBRE, oversee about 30 strategic account clients for CB Richard Ellis. Genova notes that in the case of the Healthcare Trust account, the geographic regions where the assets are located match very well with the coverage provided by CBRE offices.

Christopher E. Balish, senior vice president of asset Management for Healthcare Trust, says in a statement regarding the new CBRE assignment that it represents “a significant step in a new direction for our portfolio, which will focus on property operations and efficiencies, tenant relations, and our growing relationships with leading hospital providers.” Mark Engstrom, executive vice president of acquisitions for the REIT, says that having CBRE manage the assets will help enable the REIT to “continue to leverage our internal resources and expand our access to new relationships and investment opportunities.”

The 1.9 million square feet that CBRE will manage is part of a Healthcare Trust of America portfolio of 5.5 million square feet that includes 119 medical office buildings, four hospitals, 12 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and three other office buildings located in 19 states.

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