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Feature Story: Amid The Great Reopening, the HRE space remains strong

At the first in-person industry event since COVID, an expert panel discussed the sector’s strengths

By John B. Mugford

The Aug. 25 InterFace “State of the Industry” panel discussion in Dallas included (from left to right): John Winer of Seavest Healthcare properties, Michael Arvin of New Era Partners, Darryl Freling of MedProperties Realty Advisors, Chad Henderson of Catalyst HRE and moderator Murray W. Wolf of HREI. (HREI photo)

There have been plenty of “state of the industry” panel discussions at healthcare real estate (HRE) conferences over the years, but the one held Aug. 24-25 in Dallas was a little bit different.

For starters, the panel was live and in-person – part of the 12th annual InterFace Healthcare Real Estate Conference at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre. As such, it was believed to be the first in-person, national HRE conference since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all events and other business travel more than a year and a half ago.

Despite the recent uptick in COVID cases due to the rise of the Delta variant, those in attendance noted that the probability of contracting the virus if an individual is fully vaccinated are less than 1 percent. And, in a comment echoed throughout the event, many expressed great joy and relief at finally being able to gather face-to-case and rekindle relationships with industry friends and colleagues.

But, of course, a temporary end to in-person meetings wasn’t the only effect of the pandemic. As we can all recall, there was plenty of uncertainty about what the future would hold for all industries, including the HRE space and those involved in acquiring, selling, developing, managing and advising clients on healthcare facilities, including the staple of the sector, medical office buildings (MOBs).

However, the HRE space has come through the pandemic with flying colors. In fact, as the “State of the Industry” panelists noted,

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