Health systems should invest capital in other areas, one panelist notes
By John B. Mugford
MINNEAPOLIS – Lease vs. own? It’s a debate as old as time in healthcare real estate (HRE) – well, not quite that old.
But for at least a few decades now – ever since third-party developers and investors became key players in the sector and began owning more and more medical office space occupied by hospitals and health systems – the question has loomed.
For the most part, according to many HRE professionals, the argument comes down to the philosophy of the health systems themselves, with many having a long tradition of owning all of their real estate while others have been more open to tapping into third-party capital sources for new developments and the ownership of their facilities.
During the recent 2019 BOMA International Medical Office Building + Healthcare Real Estate Conference in Minneapolis, which drew 1,306 attendees from May 1-3, the “lease vs. own” question emerged as a major topic during a panel session titled, “Keeping Up with the Joneses: Maintaining and Managing Your Asset Base.”
The moderator was Kyle Arnold, who is with CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE) and serves as a real estate consultant for Broomfield, Colo.-based SCL Health.
The other panelists were:
■ Steven Chyung, senior VP, real estate for SCL, which has nine hospitals and nearly 200 outpatient locations in Colorado, Kansas and Montana.
■ Lee Nester, director of real estate and asset management with Gastonia, N.C.-based CaroMount Health, which has two hospitals and dozens of outpatient locations in an area west of Charlotte.
■ Steven K. Barry, president of longtime healthcare facility development firm Rendina Healthcare Real Estate, which is based in Jupiter, Fla., and has a national platform.
Mr. Arnold, the moderator didn’t waste any time asking the panelists for their stances concerning leasing vs. owning.
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