Editor’s Note (August 2007)

Bad analogy: Shrimp & R.E.


Dear Reader:

I bit the head off of a huge shrimp while in New York City last month for the BOMA International 2007 Medical Office Building and Healthcare Facilities Seminar.

While having dinner at a great restaurant – an event that was hosted by the folks with New York–based Granite Partners LLC – I grabbed what was called a “dancing shrimp.” The huge shrimp was on a wooded skewer and was covered with a lovely golden batter and deep fried; the whole thing was about six or seven inches long.

A couple of people at the table – myself included – had no idea that the head and antennae of the massive shrimp were underneath the deep-fried batter. As it turns out, the folks who knew better and took a bite from the middle dove into beautiful, shell-free white meat. But I started at the top and bit right into the head, eating the shell, eyes, antennae and whatever else is in the head of a shrimp.

At first I thought the shrimp was a little crunchier than normal, but I’d never had a “dancing shrimp” before – I thought they might be crunchier than your average shrimp. Luckily, I swallowed just once before realizing that I was indeed eating the head. Jeffery Zaleon of LaSalle Investment Management also ate the head.

Well, this mishap of ours was a fine conversation fodder for quite some time. There were plenty of laughs about eating shrimp heads and good conversation about the industry. Our table included some great folks such as Phil Mahler of Granite Partners, Hans Wittich of NexCore Group’s East Coast office, John Mark Ramsey of Servant Healthcare Investments, Joseph Baugh of Medical Properties Trust, Will Roberson of CIT Healthcare and Shaun Broome of LaSalle.

So now comes the hard part of this editor’s note – somehow making a smooth transition between eating the head of a shrimp and the BOMA conference, which was informative, entertaining and a lot of fun. It provided a big bite of the industry, if you will.

What I enjoy most about healthcare real estate conferences such as BOMA’s is getting to see all of the people that I talk to on the phone while gathering information for our stories. It also provided plenty of information for upcoming stories in issues of Healthcare Real Estate Insights. For this month’s issue, we start our BOMA coverage with a front page story from a panel discussion concerning recent trends in investing in medical office buildings.

What’s incredible about the BOMA healthcare conference is that five years ago or so, when BOMA first launched its healthcare sessions, about 30 people attended. The most recent healthcare conference had about 500 attendees and about 16 different panel discussions. Those staggering numbers, of course, indicate how prevalent healthcare real estate has become.

And now I need to wrap this up and make a strained analogy between eating the head of a shrimp and healthcare real estate. Here goes: Most of you folks in the industry do your due diligence before jumping – or biting – into a project or investment. I’m going to do my best to keep talking to you as much as possible so that I, too, don’t bite off more than I can chew.

John B. Mugford, Editor


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