The Tresha MOB investor group recently announced plans for an $11 million, two-story medical office building in the 9600 block of Huebner Road, continuing a wave of new construction and renovations in and around the South Texas Medical Center. The developers of the Christopher Medical Office Building at Grace Point say they feel there will be much anticipation to fill up space at the new complex that they are already making plans to add a third floor. Plans currently call for the structure to measure 36,000 square feet; a third floor would stretch that to 54,000 square feet total. The office building will include a 9,000-square-foot ambulatory surgical center, as well as the Texas Center for Medical and Surgical Weight Loss, whose new headquarters and clinical operations will take up 13,000 square feet.
The structure will also include a new senior-living development, the multistory Celeste at Grace Point. It will take about eight months to build the entire facility. In recent media reports, leaders in the health care industry nationwide say the demand for improved or new properties suitable for health care provision will only keep rising. During the Health Care Real Estate Investment Opportunities Summit held in January in New York, health care industry leaders said an increasing number of people securing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is helping to drive up the demand for more services, especially those provided in non-traditional facilities rather than traditional hospitals.
Another trend health care industry leaders are seeing is more physicians setting up practice in retail centers and mixed use developments. Such a development has occurred in south San Antonio at 2600 Plaza where a building that once housed a furniture store now accommodates several medical tenants. In another instance, Western Dental has been leasing space in a number of local shopping centers. The Christopher Medical Office Building at Grace Point makes the latest major addition to the South Texas Medical Center, which itself is seeing continued growth amidst a makeover of sorts.
Last year the Medical Center Alliance and the Medical Center Foundation approved a master plan to help create a more user-friendly area for employees and visitors. The plan, STMC Enliven, improves upon the 1999 master plan for the medical center that upgraded roads between the hospitals. The new long-term master plan involves urban and green streets, 8-foot-wide sidewalks, a park space for small-scale fitness activities such as yoga, and trailheads to current hiking trails that will become easier to find. Work on these improvements started in October.
Last summer also saw the completion of renovations at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-Medical Center, among other notable recent projects at established facilities in the area. Additionally, the San Antonio Medical Foundation seeks to sell seven acres of property it owns at Wurzbach, Fredericksburg and Hamilton Wolfe roads. Officials with the foundation say the land is suitable to support medical center ventures, but that it would sell only to an appropriate buyer.