Cover Story: Out of the woods

The flagship Forest Park Medical Center Dallas, which closed in October 2015, was recently acquired and rebranded by the HCA North Texas system, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Inc. (Photo courtesy of The Neal Richards Group)

The flagship Forest Park Medical Center Dallas, which closed in October 2015, was recently acquired and rebranded by the HCA North Texas system, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Inc. (Photo courtesy of The Neal Richards Group)

Former Forest Park properties finding new life

By John B. Mugford

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Frustrated by what they considered to be bureaucracy and inefficiency at other local hospitals, a group of Texas physicians launched the Forest Park chain of physician-owned specialty hospitals, opening the first of six such facilities in March 2009.

These were not your garden variety hospitals. Costing $80 million each or more and catering to privately insured patients in upscale areas, the Forest Park facilities featured top-of-the-line equipment; high-end building materials, furniture and fixtures; hotel- and spa-like amenities; chef-run cafeterias – even HVAC systems infused with the aroma of fresh linens. But, for a variety of reasons, the venture failed, leaving the landlords holding the bag on some rather expensive vacant space.

But the real estate fundamentals of the buildings were solid, even if the Forest Park business model was not. Five of the properties have now been acquired by other healthcare providers – including some of the same hospitals they were intended to rival.

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