- The Columbia, SC medical office market continues to perform extremely well as area hospitals and physician practices continue to expand throughout the Columbia area. As of mid-year 2003, the market consists of approximately 1.3 million square feet of Medical Office Building (MOB) space. Owners of MOB’s continue to lease space to new physicians practices, which are being recruited by area hospitals as well as leasing to established practices which are expanding into multiple locations throughout Columbia. The medical office market also continues to expand with physician practices purchasing property and constructing their own medical facilities.
- As of mid-year 2003, the overall occupancy of Columbia area MOB’s was 92.2%, virtually the same level as year-end 2002. Average rental rates for medical office space have remained unchanged during the first six months of 2003. The average rental rate in Columbia’s MOB’s remains at $18.68 per square foot.
- The MOB market in Columbia is primarily 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 strategic expansion of hospital services into growth corridors of Richland and Lexington counties.
- Palmetto Health Alliance began construction of its new Northwest Campus in July 2002. The new facility will be completed during the second half of 2003 and will dramatically change the northwest market as numerous physician practices may desire to be located within the MOB or in close proximity to the new ambulatory care facility.
- The forecast for the medical office market in Columbia for the remainder of 2003 is for continued growth and expansion. The market will continue to experience rapid and substantial growth of medical facilities in high growth areas of Columbia. Much of the growth will come from physician practices who may construct their own facilities rather than the development of new, multi-tenant hospital-based MOB’s. Rental rates in MOB’s will escalate marginally during the next six months as occupancy rates remain stable.
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