Urgent Care Centers Changing the Real Estate Landscape of Long Island
June 23, 2014
By Michael Torhan, CPA
Over the past several years, there has been exponential growth of urgent care centers across the U.S. According to statistics reported by the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, there are approximately 9,300 stand-alone urgent care centers currently open in the U.S. and around 50-100 new clinics open each year. Increasing hospital wait times and demand for instant medical care have caused the proliferation of Urgent Care Medicine. In the New York City and Long Island region, urgent care centers have been appearing just about everywhere. Just driving along Jericho Turnpike in Nassau County, one can easily spot several clinics.
As urgent care centers expand across Long Island, their needs for real estate space have altered the commercial real estate market. Herb Agin, CEO of Colliers International LI in Lake Success, was recently quoted in the Long Island Business News article “Urgent care centers paying top dollar for space” as saying that “the medical field is the biggest driver for occupancy in the commercial real estate market right now.” The article also describes how local developers have reported that more doctors are seeking retail spaces rather than traditional office spaces. Urgent care centers are a clear example of this trend. The majority of these clinics have in fact been taking space in retail outlets such as strip malls and shopping centers. One driver of the demand for these locations has been the greater availability of parking as compared to traditional office spaces.
It will be interesting to watch how this trend continues to grow in the region. While many industries have condensed over the past few years driving commercial real estate demand down, it appears the medical industry has had the opposite impact. In the LIBN article, Jayson Siano of Sabre Real Estate provides a clear illustration of this growth by his example of how many Blockbuster and Hollywood Video locations on Long Island have now been converted into urgent care centers.