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Three Tips for Leasing Medical Office Space

By:Christopher Thames, senior vice president and chief operating officer

Christopher Thames

As medical practitioners, doctors and healthcare administrators understand the importance of maintaining quality medical equipment in their practices. Along with all of their knowledge and expertise, doctors are dependent upon these resources to optimize patient care.

When thinking through examples of these crucial resources, it’s just as important to consider the office space a practice occupies. That’s why finding the right lease is vital for providing quality patient care and ensuring a practice’s long-term sustainability. There are many factors to consider when leasing medical space. While many of these are consistent across all types of lease agreements, healthcare professionals should consider a few unique factors in their search.

If you’re looking to relocate or open a medical practice, here are three key tips to help guide your journey to finding the best facility for your needs.

Proximity to other healthcare facilities

If possible, leasing next to other healthcare facilities – ideally near medical partners – would be extremely beneficial. Patients visiting one facility are often referred to another, so proximity and distance between visits could be a vital factor in a patient choosing one healthcare provider over other options. It also allows for more convenient collaboration between health care administrators and professionals, which could lead to a higher quality of care for patients.

 Accounting for equipment accommodations

When possible, medical practitioners should lease a facility that previously served as a healthcare office. Outfitting a former retail facility for medical use could become extremely expensive, while leasing a former healthcare facility would cut down on many of these costs. For example, if you plan to utilize specialized medical equipment, such as x-ray machines, it is important to consider the amount of rebuild that may be necessary. Medical facility buildouts can cost upwards of $100 dollars per square foot– a significant expense when relocating or opening a practice. An extension of the lease term may be necessary when considering those additional investments.

 Planning for neighbors

It is a good idea to talk with the leasing party about any current or potential neighbors you may have around the facility. It’s common for healthcare providers to request that their neighboring properties not be used for the sale of tobacco, alcohol or other potentially unhealthy products. However, this is an issue that should be thoroughly discussed before signing any agreements. You don’t want to find out after it’s too late that the spaces around your building will conflict with the services that you provide. That’s where multi-tenant use restrictions are especially helpful. Multi-tenant use restrictions are essential to prevent other services that are either competition or a detriment to your business from leasing space in the same building.