- The Columbia, SC medical office market continues to perform extremely well as medical practices and hospitals rapidly expand. As of year-end 2002, the market consists of approximately 1.3 million square feet of Medical Office Building (MOB) space. Numerous physician practices have purchased property and are constructing their own medical facilities. During 2001 and 2002, there has been considerable real estate activity in the medical community. MOBs continue to lease space to new physician practices as well as the established practices which are expanding into multiple locations.
- As of year-end 2002, the overall occupancy of the MOBs was 92.1%. This occupancy has increased dramatically from 84.4% at year-end 2001. Occupancy rates have improved even as additional medical space has been constructed.
- The medical office market in Columbia is predominantly controlled by the four major hospitals operating within the metropolitan area. The hospitals include Lexington Medical Center, Providence Hospital and the Palmetto Health Alliance, which is comprised of Palmetto Baptist Medical Center and Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital. The growth of the MOB market is principally driven by the expansion of hospital services into growth corridors of Columbia.
- Average rental rates for medical office space increased during 2002 as it has for the past several years. Occupancy rates will remain very stable over the next twelve-month period.
- Palmetto Health Alliance began construction of its new Northwest Campus in July 2002. This will dramatically change the northwest market as numerous physician practices may desire to be located in close proximity to the new ambulatory care facility.
- The forecast for the medical office market in Columbia for 2003 is for continued expansion. The market will continue to experience rapid and substantial growth of medical facilities in high growth areas of Columbia. Much of this growth will come from physicians who may construct their own facilities rather than through the development of new, multi-tenant MOBs.
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