Changing Healthcare to Drive Demand

Key Takeaways

  • The Columbia, SC healthcare market ended 2014 with a vacancy rate of 7.82%.
  • Overall asking rental rates averaged $21.06 per square foot per year full service at year-end 2014 for the market.
  • Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Columbia’s newest hospital, opened in March 2014.
  • Aging population and more widely available insurance will drive demand for health care.

Current Conditions

Changes in health care policy and an aging population are expected to drive demand for health care services.  According to ESRI demographics, in 2014, 13% of the population in the Columbia, SC MSA was over the age of 65.  The number is projected to grow, increasing the demand for medical services throughout the area.  Additionally, recent changes in healthcare policy make insurance available to individuals who were previously uninsured.  Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in South Carolina was up 11.4% in 2014 over the previous year, with an addition of 90,381 individuals becoming insured.  Continuing Medicaid expansion will contribute to the growing demand for healthcare and healthcare providers.

At year-end 2014, the vacancy rate for the Columbia, SC medical office market was down to 7.82% from 8.55% at mid-year 2014 and 8.74% at year-end 2013.  Activity was limited given the high occupancy in the market.  Asking rental rates averaged $21.06 per square foot per year full service at year-end 2014, up from $20.78 at mid-year 2014 and $20.80 at year-end 2013.  The highest asking rental rates are in the CBD averaging $23.20 per square foot per year full service.

Columbia welcomed its newest hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, in March 2014.  The 224,590 square foot hospital offers 24/7 emergency care, inpatient care, intensive care unit, labor and delivery, and a newborn nursery.  The $125 million hospital is connected by a walkway to a new approximately 80,000 square foot medical office building.  The hospital strives to make patients and their guests feel comfortable while providing a high quality level of care in a state of the art facility.  Palmetto Health Healing Waters, a spa and cosmetic clinic, recently opened at Parkridge.  The 6,931 square foot facility offers services ranging from facials to massages and is open to patients and the public.  Parkridge shares a campus with an existing Parkridge Medical Office Building providing patients easy access to more physicians.

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