Leasing a medical office space is a major decision, and there are many important factors that should be considered before you sign an agreement. Whether you’re opening a brand new practice or expanding your existing practice, here is what you need to know before you lease or buy a medical office building.
1. Consider the Location
In any industry, choosing the right location for your office space is one of the highest priorities. Ideally, your new medical office building will be located in a high-traffic area that serves your target demographic.
Most medical offices have historically been located on hospital campuses, but there is a growing shift towards off-campus practices. This tends to be less expensive for physicians, and also offers greater accessibility and variety for patients. However, it is still a smart idea to choose a property that is in close proximity to major medical complexes or other physicians.
Some physicians prefer to be located in dense urban locations (close to public transportation), while others prefer to spread out into the suburbs, where their target demographic lives. Consider which type of location will best serve and appeal to your patients.
2. Patient Accessibility
Along with location, accessibility is one of the most important factors that can determine the success of your medical practice. This is especially true if you plan to treat elderly patients, or patients with physical disabilities, serious illnesses or limited mobility.
Are there sufficient parking spaces, including handicap-accessible spots? Are there an adequate number of wheelchair ramps and elevators? Installing these features can be very expensive, so your ideal medical office space will already have them installed.
3. Existing Medical Infrastructure
In addition to existing accessibility features, your ideal medical office space should also have existing medical infrastructure. While purchasing or leasing a traditional office space and converting it to a medical practice may seem less expensive upfront, keep in mind that those conversion costs can quickly add up.
Healthcare practices often have specialized plumbing and auxiliary power needs, which can be very costly to install. Likewise, you’ll save a significant amount of money on renovations by choosing a building that is already outfitted with individual patient rooms and waiting areas.
4. Special Use Issues
Leasing a medical office comes with many usage considerations that are not present when renting standard office or retail space. For instance, will your facility be using any hazardous materials? This may include X-ray machines and CT scanners, which will require the installation of special radiation shielding.
Additionally, will your medical office provide after-hours or 24/7 care, which will significantly drive up utility costs? Will you require any exclusive use provisions, to prevent competing medical practices from setting up shop next door?
Also, keep in mind that most leases stipulate that landlords may enter any part of the property at any time to conduct inspections. But in the case of medical office space, this may interfere with patient privacy and interrupt scheduled appointments.
All of these unique considerations fall outside the scope of standard lease agreements, and may result in a lease violation if not thoroughly discussed and properly negotiated. This is why it is highly recommended that you enlist the help of a qualified expert when leasing or purchasing a medical office building.
Our Medical Office Advisory Services team is well-versed in the Cleveland medical office space market, and can help you find the ideal property for your medical practice. Contact our team today for more information!
To learn more about how CRESCO, Greater Cleveland’s leading commercial real estate company, can help you with your property needs, contact us at 216.520.1200, or fill out the form below. A CRESCO professional will contact you shortly.