2013-01-24 22:09:12 -
Woodbridge, New Jersey – “Our program theme for 2013 is ‘Grow NJ,’ and today’s program will explore healthcare, how it is changing, and the real estate opportunities it is creating,” said Patricia Riedel of CBRE, President and CREW Network Delegate for CREW NJ.
“Program content continues to be extremely important for our membership, and today’s panel is a clear indication of that fact,” she told attendees at the chapter’s January luncheon meeting at the Woodbridge Hilton.
“These are dynamic times for the healthcare field,” said panel moderator Andrew Quirk, Senior Vice President and National Director of The Healthcare Center of Excellence for Skanska, USA. “The industry’s direction has become more focused, but major unknowns remain—financial pressures, new technology and terminology, and government
regulations at the state and federal level, to name a few.”
Indeed, government regulation at the state level in New Jersey takes a couple of tacks, according to Stephen Aluotto, AIA, CID, LEED AP, President of NK Architects. “New Jersey healthcare is highly regulated, both from an operational standpoint, and in terms of design and construction.”
The financial uncertainties are significant, said Deborah Zastocki, DNP, RN, CEO and President of Chilton Hospital in Pompton Plains, NJ. “Nationally, there are more than 50 million uninsured—1.3 million in New Jersey. The focus of healthcare reform is to get more people into the system, a system characterized by the rapid growth of healthcare costs.”
In a strictly business sense, those issues are forcing hospital owners “to reach out to more partners,” noted Quirk. That’s creating more diversified solutions, said Aluotto: “Hospitals are partnering with developers and specialized franchise organizations. They are looking at ways of creating new synergies.”
“The challenge is to come up with service delivery systems that are more convenient and cost-effective,” said Steve Barry, Senior Vice President of Rendina Companies, a leading national developer of healthcare real estate. “This involves moving treatment out from hospitals and into communities—in effect creating ‘hospitals without beds’. Ambulatory and outpatient care are the future.
Indeed, Chilton has moved acute care out of the hospital, replacing it on-site “with more private rooms,” Zastocki noted.
“Maximizing the efficiency of existing space is key,” said Barry, specifically noting the high cost of real estate in New Jersey. “The goal is to derive revenue out of every square foot possible without impacting care.”
Vacant office space in New Jersey is also part of the healthcare equation. “We are constantly getting calls from real estate owners related to filling their empty space with healthcare providers,” said Mark Manigan, a partner in the Brach Eichler law firm. “Savvy real estate people are picking up on this opportunity.”
Aluotto, as well, noted the emerging market of community health centers utilizing vacant older buildings, “many in urban areas.”
And the future of healthcare might require even less space. Zastocki noted that “virtual technology means a patient might not even have to leave home.” In effect, care could be provided via virtual technology from a data center.
But for the real estate industry in general, “there is a lot of pressure in the marketplace and deals can be hard to do, but it’s the future,” said Manigan. That’s where real estate professionals come in – doctors, “especially older doctors,” and administrators need help in getting partnership and real estate deals done.
“Real estate is not a priority for hospital administrators,” added Barry. “That’s where the third-party professional comes in.”
“It all comes down to letting people focus on their core competencies,” Quirk concluded.
CREW NJ chapter business at the event included unveiling the chapter’s new logo. Riedel also presented an award recognizing a firm’s commitment to CREW NJ to the accounting firm Wilkin & Guttenplan. Riedel also introduced new members as part of the chapter’s effort to continue to grow its membership. And she thanked those who contributed to the January Philanthropy – collecting personal care items that will allow the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) to create “hygiene bags.”
CREW NJ is the New Jersey Chapter of CREW Network (Commercial Real Estate Network), which is dedicated to the advancement of women in commercial real estate. Membership organizations are comprised of over 8,000 members representing every discipline within the industry and are located in 76 chapters across North America.
CREW Network seeks to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by focusing on fulfilling four key initiatives: business development, leadership development, industry research and career outreach. Members represent fields as diversified as accountants, architects, appraisers, asset/property managers, attorneys, consultants, developers, lenders, leasing and sales brokers, mortgage bankers/brokers, marketing specialists, market and investment analysts, corporate real estate representatives and title/escrow officers. For more information on programming, sponsorship or membership, please contact CREW NJ at (609) 585-6871, via email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the website at www.crewnj.org.