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September 2007 - Volume 4 - Issue 3

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One Seventeen To Be 'One-Stop' Facility

"People can go to eat and shop, and now they can add a third element – they can take care of their health care procedures." Kenneth Weston, President of Kenneth Weston & Associates, Inc., was discussing a new trend that's currently taking place in health care, and was referring in particular to the One Seventeen Professional Arts Center, a group of medical office condos located in the Town & Country retail center near Miami.

One Seventeen is being developed by the Flagler-Codina Development Company, and Shane Soefker is South Florida VP & Market Officer of Flagler Real Estate Services.

In talking about the project, Weston said his company was "retained to handle the medical condo, which is planned to be incorporated as part of the shopping center." Weston’s firm has specialized in health care real estate and medical office condos for nearly 30 years.

The trend is the idea of including health care facilities in areas that also offer other amenities. "We're finding that medical buildings are looking to locate in or near retail centers," Weston said, "because shopping centers attract a tremendous number of trips (per person) per year. It's very convenient. For example, if the patient is going for a medical procedure, while the patient is in there, family members can shop or dine, and then pick the patient up when they're done.

"In addition to being advantageous to the medical facility, it is also advantageous to the shopping center."

Weston said that One Seventeen, located at S.W. 117th Avenue and S.W. 84th Street, is an ideal location providing high exposure. "That's one of the key elements – it's east of S.W. 117th Avenue and the Florida Turnpike, so it provides easy access for residents from the north, south, east and west. And the building is minutes away from four major hospitals, including Baptist Hospital, Kendall Regional Medical Center, South Miami Hospital and the new West Kendall Baptist Hospital to be constructed.

"Most patients prefer to have their physicians within five miles of their residence. Here, they'll have the convenience of the shopping center and have four hospitals within a 15-minute ride."

About the facility itself, Weston described it as being "comprised of two, 4 story towers totaling 133,000 sq. ft. The first building is 85 percent pre-sold, and the second building is being looked at by three individual buyers – physician groups – who would possibly purchase the entire building."

Some of the features offered at One Seventeen include two high-speed, hospital-sized elevators, individual air conditioning and electrical systems, 24-hour keycard access, hurricane impact-resistant construction and windows, and a connected, four-story parking garage with a parking ratio of five spaces per 1000 sq. ft. "That high of a ratio is necessary for medical facilities," Weston commented.

Additionally, Weston said the towers will feature a "very serene setting. The building itself is a Class A building. All of the sterility associated with medical facilities will be taken out, and it will be modified to be light and airy."

He added that "the success of the building is the result of the different types of practices and specialties going in – the synergy among the various types of specialties can add value to the practice, in addition to the value generated by each physician owning his own office."

With regard to the diversity of practices anticipated, Weston said, "(The project will contain) virtually every type of specialty – including ambulatory surgical centers and imaging centers. It will be a one-stop facility."

In addition to the medical facilities, the Town & Country Center itself is receiving a facelift. Weston said the Center is undergoing a $90 million renovation and is expected to have a total of 800,000 sq. ft. of retail space. "The mall is taking on a new character, being modeled after a portofino design in Italy. Some of the existing buildings are being demolished, and the final result will have open air shops and outdoor cafes that will take advantage of the lake." The complex is scheduled to open in fall 2009.

In summarizing, Weston said, "The proximity to residents in the nearby area is important – especially in a city like Miami, where traffic is key. The beauty of this is that the mall is less than seven miles from 750,000 people. It's close to where they live, and they can accomplish everything."

For more information, call Kenneth Weston & Associates, Inc. at (305) 279-2700 or visit www.kennethwestonassoc.com.
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