According to local brokers, these health centers have started to fill in spaces left by weakening industries. Electronic stores and financial services have had trouble keeping stores open as internet shopping has started to replace them. While not all landlords want an urgent care as part of their properties, most are embracing the new style of medical clinics. Many are choosing to replace several apartments with urgent care centers.
“They’re putting all their eggs into one basket. They feel it’s a pretty strong basket,” says Ryan Condren, a managing director of CPEX Real Estate. Condren is a broker for a property that has recently replaced tenants with a 3,500 square foot urgent-care operation.
Urgent cares have seen great growth over the past several decades in the U.S. There are currently about 9,000 centers, and the majority — 85% — are open seven days a week. Some are even open 24/7. The recent upsurge in popularity can be attributed to several factors, including accessibility, amended insurance policies, the rising cost of medical care at other locations, and the Affordable Care Act.
“The economics in general are moving away from hospitals into smaller facilities,” explains Tom Lee, founder of One Medical Group. He sees patient accessibility as becoming more important for the future. Urgent cares are receiving a lot of patients tired of waiting around — the industry average for wait times is less than 20 minutes 70% of the time.