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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 3 years ago


Adam Palmer has been with LandQwest Commercial, one of Southwest Florida's leading commercial real estate brokerages, since 2009, following a career in the software industry.
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

Principal and Managing Director, Office & Investment Services,
LandQwest Commercial,
Fort Myers

Adam Palmer has been with LandQwest Commercial, one of Southwest Florida's leading commercial real estate brokerages, since 2009, following a career in the software industry. Palmer has become among the region's top agents, recognized by real estate research firm CoStar Group as a “Power Broker” in Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties 10 times out of the past 13 years. He is also the president-elect of the CCIM Institute for Florida, one of the industry's most prestigious groups that has more than 1,000 members statewide. Palmer and colleague Mike Doyle were recently tapped by the Lee Memorial Health System to sell the remaining 11.5 acres in the health care provider's HealthPark in Fort Myers. The park contains a 270-bed medical center and a skilled-nursing facility, and the 128-bed Golisano Children's Hospital is under construction and slated to open next year.

Why is it a good time for Lee Memorial Health System to sell the remaining parcels within HealthPark?
I think the health system recognized that they could improve the master plan for the campus by bringing in third-party owners who would be interested in providing services that Lee Memorial isn't focused on. Right now, the campus is focused on health care and health care-related services exclusively.

Does the timing of the land sales have anything to do with the abundance of capital currently in the medical office building market?
I don't think the state of the capital markets has gone into the decision to bring these properties to market. It has more to do with the health system, while content with what they've developed, being aware and realizing that some other uses brought into the arena of their campus could benefit everyone from a synergistic purpose.

Given the proximity to the hospital, the pediatric hospital and the skilled nursing center on the HealthPark campus, medical office space is likely to be an end use for at least one of the parcels that is now for sale. Are you also expecting to receive interest from other developers and/or end users?
As we expected, we've received a great response from health care providers and developers, and the two smaller parcels being offered do present a great opportunity for a physician's practice to own their own space within the campus. That said, it also leaves open the opportunity for a developer to come in and do a build-to-suit package for doctors who might be more interested in leasing their space going forward, while still having the advantages of being close to a premier hospital system. And, we've also received expressions of interest from various parties outside health care, as well, that think the location is a good one.

One of the parcels has flexible zoning that would allow for multifamily development. Was that always envisioned to be a part of the campus?
I don't know that it was always intended or that the expectation was the 9.5-acre piece would be developed with other uses in mind, but when you think about it, there are lots of non-health care options that are viable, especially with the pending opening of the children's hospital next year. That will add even more employment concentrated in that area, and create more demand and need for housing as a result. At the same time, we're seeing more demand from consumers for more walkable spaces close to amenities like restaurants and retail, so I think that plays into this, too. For staff at the hospitals, it would be especially nice for them to be so close to work that they could walk.

What's the per-acre price range you expect to receive for these tracts?
We believe these sites are being priced very competitively at $8 per square foot, and there are sales data to support that -- other sales in the area that justify, certainly, that price. And, we think the location, being on the site of the hospital, represents a superior location. We don't expect to complete these transactions being too far off our anticipated price, given the level of interest already.

What's your realistic timetable for disposition of these sites?
With the activity we've received just in the past week or so, I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation to think that we'll have these properties sold by the end of the year. Typically sales of vacant land take longer than those involving existing buildings or improvements, but it's a rare thing to be able to purchase land within an existing hospital campus, and savvy buyers understand that. With the interest that we've already received, we expect to be able to complete these transactions in a relatively short period of time.

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