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The Faith Consolo Team

Faith Hope Consolo
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New York, NY 10022
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In the News

Condo builders sweet on doctors; Apartment towers offer customized medical offices; patients nearby

Is there a doctor in the house? The answer to that question in Brooklyn is increasingly yes.

As industrial and commercial neighborhoods throughout the borough gentrify and become acceptable alternatives to pricey Manhattan, physicians are eagerly opening medical suites in new or refurbished apartment buildings.

Helping to entice them to Brooklyn are condo developers who are offering customized medical office space with a built-in patient base. As many as 25 residential buildings that feature purchased or leased medical office space have recently opened or are under construction, says Paul Wexler, president of Corcoran Wexler Healthcare Properties.

“This is a trend that will keep growing,” says Mr. Wexler. “There are benefits for both the developers and the doctors, who can literally design their own space in these new, modern buildings.”

MORE SQUARE FOOTAGEFor developers, having doctors in their buildings means that they are permitted to add square footage, since medical offices are defined as community space, says James Dario, an executive broker with Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates Inc., a Brooklyn real estate developer and broker.

Additionally, medical practices have little or no impact on the residential portion of the building because they have separate entrances and don't have the noise and rodent problems common to restaurants or grocery stores.

“Developers want these medical practices in their buildings because they are long-term, stable tenants,” says Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing and sales division of Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Demand is certainly there. Almost all of the 20,000 square feet of medical space that opened in September in the 12-story GreeneHouse Condominiums in Fort Greene has been sold for around $425 a square foot, says David Weiss, president of the real estate division of Manhattan's Weiss & Co., the lead partner in the project.

STARTING A NEW PROJECTMr. Weiss is so bullish about medical suites that he is constructing a similar condo project in nearby Clinton Hill. Scheduled to open in January 2008, the building will offer 25,000 square feet of medical space and 30 residential units. “Developers in Brooklyn are realizing the great value that medical space can bring to their residential buildings,” Mr. Weiss says.

Currently, Kalmon Dolgin is brokering medical space for rent or sale in four buildings in Park Slope, Greenpoint and Williamsburg, says Executive Vice President Neil Dolgin. “There is a need for these medical facilities, and developers are responding by providing the best possible space for doctors in these new residential buildings,” he notes.

Most of these new developments have extra-sturdy floors to support heavy equipment, as well as upgraded electrical, air-conditioning and plumbing capacity--giving them even more appeal to physicians.

Some of the new residential buildings also have the advantage of being located near a hospital. Mitchell Ozeri, a Brooklyn attorney who co-developed a nine-condo building with 5,133 square feet of medical space in Wyckoff Heights, situated the project two blocks away from Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

The building opened in June, and the medical space is selling for $1.3 million.

The ability to design his office space and offer total handicap accessibility encouraged Dr. Kiran Bhat, a gastroenterologist, to move from an office building about 10 blocks away to GreeneHouse. He and two other practices purchased 4,100 square feet of space for $1.8 million.

“As this Fort Greene area goes through its gentrification, it is bringing in new residents who will be looking for doctors,” Dr. Bhat says. “Our offices will offer several specialties--a one-stop shopping alternative for those looking for quality health care.”

 

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