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Sunday, 03 August 2014 22:00

Borgess Health Park could spur additional development in key BC corridor

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Battle Creek’s Borgess Health Park is expected to serve as a catalyst for further development in the adjacent corridor as well as draw in new medical services to the region. “It’s great that we’ve been able to capture Borgess’ regional expansion and make sure it happened in Battle Creek,” said Karl Dehn, president and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited. Battle Creek’s Borgess Health Park is expected to serve as a catalyst for further development in the adjacent corridor as well as draw in new medical services to the region. “It’s great that we’ve been able to capture Borgess’ regional expansion and make sure it happened in Battle Creek,” said Karl Dehn, president and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited. COURTESY PHOTO

Borgess Health’s opening of a $26.9 million medical campus in Battle Creek provides not just expanded access to care for the region, but also a potential catalyst for nearby spin-off development.

The corridor along Capital Avenue has several parcels for sale and has been emerging for years as a new commercial corridor in the Battle Creek area.

The 65,000-square-foot Borgess Health Park creates an anchor and destination that adds to the corridor’s commercial appeal and can accelerate new development and redevelopment in the years ahead, including for further medical uses, said Caroline Fox Pavone, a sales agent with the Kalamazoo office of Signature Associates.

Pavone has four commercial listings for four buildings that have been used for medical uses and vacant parcels totaling about eight acres along Capital Avenue, directly across the street from the Borgess Health Park, plus seven build-to-suit lots down the road.

Weeks after the campus opened in June, Pavone had three inquiries “in the multi-million dollar range” over a 10-day period.

In the previous six months to a year, Pavone “got some nibbles .… (but) nothing I got real excited about.”

“There has been active interest, but not very active until just recently. That new medical building is really impacting that corridor in a great way,” Pavone said. “I am just really enthusiastic about that corridor, and I think you are going to see a lot of transactions occurring there in the near future to support the Borgess development.”

Those transactions will come in the way of additional medical developments and physician offices along the corridor that complement the outpatient campus, as well as commercial and retail projects, Pavone said.

Located on 21 acres at Capital Avenue and Beckley Road, the Borgess Health Park houses primary care and specialty physician offices. Medical services include women’s health and cardiology, radiology (including CT and mobile MRI), diagnostic labs, physical therapy, occupational medicine, a sleep clinic and a pharmacy. The site has room to expand, and Borgess may add vascular and general surgery at the outpatient center in the future.

Cheryl Beard, director of commercial development at Battle Creek Unlimited, considers the Borgess Health Park as the best economic development opportunity right now for further developing the local health care sector.

“I can definitely envision, in the next five years, additional construction out there (at the Borgess Health Park) as well as thinking of it as a magnet location for other health care operations that want to locate near their facility,” Beard said. “I would not be surprised in the next year or so if we would start to see some of those.”

The Borgess Health Park is not only the latest but the largest health care development along the Capital Avenue corridor that already consists of some medical uses.

“There is a real medical corridor being constructed out there, and the Borgess Health Park is just an addition to what is already there,” Beard said.

Additional medical development would mean additional growth in the health care sector in Calhoun County. As of 2012, the health care industry directly employed 9,636 people and indirectly supported another 3,943 jobs, according to an annual analysis on the economic impact of health care in the state by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

Health care jobs directly generated $549.1 million in wages and salaries in 2012 and another $157.2 million indirectly for a total of $706.3 million, plus $185.9 million in local, state and federal tax revenue, according to the MHA report.

Development of the outpatient campus put Kalamazoo-based Borgess Health in a better position to provide patients living around the I-94 corridor with increased access to care. It also positions Borgess to better compete with Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, the former Battle Creek Health System that Bronson Healthcare Group acquired in 2011.

Battle Creek Unlimited President and CEO Karl Dehn expects the new Borgess outpatient campus to help draw more medical specialists to the region that either locate on the campus or close to it.

“There are employment opportunities, and there are also implications for increasing health care services in the community and increasing choices,” Dehn said. “Health care is an opportunity. Health care is going to grow as an industry, and it’s great that we’ve been able to capture Borgess’ regional expansion and make sure it happened in the city of Battle Creek.”

Along the way, the growth in medical uses along Capital Avenue can spur new commercial development.

Retail development is not creeping southward on Capital Avenue from Beckley Road and the corridor has “great opportunity” for further office and retail uses, said Pavone of Signature Associates.

“It is a new corridor that has emerged as being very viable and important,” she said. “All of those medical patients and staff and doctors are going to be hungry and need other services that are available mostly on Beckley Avenue right now, but it would be much more convenient to stay on southwest Capital.”

 

Read 38548 times Last modified on Sunday, 03 August 2014 15:32
Mark Sanchez

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msanchez@mibiz.com

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