JACKSONVILLE, FL—The medical office market is seeing some action in north Florida. Emerson Medical Plaza Building 2 just traded hands. The 34,000-square-foot medical office building sold to HSRE – Emerson for $13.26 million, which equates to $390 per rentable square foot.

“This transaction was unique as it is a satellite campus for Shands,” John Smelter, a first vice president investments and senior director of the Healthcare Real Estate Group in the San Diego office of Marcus & Millichap, tells GlobeSt.com. “The trend hospitals will continue to focus on is off campus satellite sites housing MOBs and surgery centers versus building new hospitals to pick up market share in the outlying regions where there are existing hospitals.”

Smelter represented the seller, Emerson MOB II. Emerson MOB II is a partnership between ABR Chesapeake III, a value-added real estate investment fund sponsored by Baltimore-based Alex Brown Realty and Health America Realty Group. Kirk Felici, a vice president in Marcus & Millichap’s Miami office, also worked on the deal.

According to M&M data, for sales of medical office buildings that are 20,000 square feet or larger in the Southeast region was the most active in 2011 with 34% of the activity. The West followed closely behind at 29%. The Southeast was also the most active in 2010 with 27% of the medical office building deals. Nationally, the number of transactions was up 93% in 2011 to 188, compared to 97 in 2010 on the 20,000-square-foot-plus medical office building category.

Smelter says it’s easier to attract financing on medical office buildings because there is an abundance on both debt and equity in the medical office building sector. It is viewed as the most favorable property type second only to multifamily. The Emerson Medical Plaza 2 building is the newest medical office building in the plaza and is 100% leased.

“This project is a very stable investment with 10 years remaining on the lease with a very high likelihood of renewal due to the significant TI and capital equipment investment made by the hospital,” he adds. “The hospital had invested approximately $150 per square foot out of its pocket on top of the developer’s $40,000 per square foot TI allowance.”

Built in 2009, Emerson Medical Plaza Building 2 sits on 4.41 acres. The first floor was designed and constructed for imaging services including, MRI, CT, ultrasound and fluoroscopy. The second floor specializes in women’s health and offers an Advanced Breast Imaging Center as well as bone density, high-risk obstetrics, gynecologic cancer care, menopause care, urogynecology and gynecological ultrasound services. The third floor has been designated for cardiology and neurology services and the architectural planning process will begin in 2012.