MALLS AND MEDICINE: A STRONG COMBINATION September 15, 2021 | CRE News , Investment , Management | building renovation , real estate trends , office space , commercial real estate tenants Vacancy rates in commercial retail buildings reached an all-time high by the end of 2020. This has forced property owners to find new partners to fill the openings and try to make their money back. Some owners have found success by leasing out to distribution centers and workout facilities . Others are seeing that medical offices are proving to be beneficial. CRE and the Elderly One reason that medical providers are looking for more commercial space is the growing elderly population. Within the next 30 years, close to 20 percent of people in the U.S. and Canada will be aged 65 and over. In preparation for this, healthcare professionals are finding new ways to provide needed care. Reminiscence therapy is one option that’s allowing patients with mental loss the ability to continue living on their own. As innovative, up-and-coming concepts make those later years in life more comfortable, unused retail space has been the best candidate. Bringing Care Closer Easy access to higher quality care is of key importance to a majority of people. Offices moving into malls has made that happen. Instead of having to travel to a separate medical office, patients can make an appointment in the same location they do their shopping. This has made seeking care more convenient since people can shop while they wait for their appointment, or run a quick errand afterwards. Especially in locations where transportation to and from multiple locations is difficult, having a doctor’s office within a mall is advantageous. Giving Healthcare a Facelift Typically, doctor’s offices aren’t thought of as being very aesthetic. Bland waiting rooms, intimidating equipment, and the doctor’s office jitters many of us experience can make for a dreary atmosphere. Placing medical tenants in the more up-beat and bustling spot of a mall shifts the whole dynamic. Now, patients aren’t dreading their trip to the doctor or forced to wait in a blah room. Relocating to retail space has transformed medical offices from simple to modern and eye-catching. Functionality of Spaces Another benefit of large, empty retail spots is the versatility that they offer. The continual change of care practices and mobility of healthcare means that an adaptive space works the best. This allows medical professionals to stay in one place longer since the building is designed for versatility and is meant to “grow” with them. Boutique Medicine Along with the more traditional offices like dentists and optometrists, boutique medicine has found success moving into malls. Practices like cryotherapy and hydrotherapy are becoming more popular as a complement to more traditional methods. Other alternative forms like chiropractic medicine can drive walk-ins from interested shoppers. A Healthy Outlook With the medical sector growing into retail, property owners are setting aside more space for healthcare providers to use. Around 11 percent of redevelopment projects are being reserved for doctor’s offices. Medical distributors are also starting to find homes in retail, providing another possible tenant solution. While there may have been doubts early on as to the success of medicine in malls, it’s quickly proven to be a working investment. For all your commercial property inspections needs, contact NPI to schedule an appointment today.