The Hoag Health Center in Foothill Ranch is unlike a medical facility one might normally see: It looks and feels more like a spa.
It has an open layout and high ceilings, wooden floors, natural light and micro-retail options. There is a coffee bar serving gourmet coffee, a fragrance bar, a fitness clothing store and a gym.
“We want to make you feel comfortable,” Hoag Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities Sanford Smith said to Bisnow. “You're in a place where you want to hang out.”
The nonprofit site in Orange County has transformed a former Joann Fabric and Craft big-box store into a facility focusing on health and wellness. The center opened earlier this year but closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Its transformation highlights how medical providers are changing vacant big-box sites in community retail centers into high-tech medical facilities. Hoag joins a list of other medical providers that have have opened medical facilities in or adjacent shopping centers. In 2015, Seattle Children’s Hospital converted a former 37K SF Circuit City retail store into an outpatient clinic in Seattle. In 2018, Advocate Health Care turned a shuttered Sports Authority in Chicago into an outpatient medical center.
In November, Mission Hospital opened the 108K SF Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness adjacent to the Shops at Mission Viejo.
JLL Managing Director Midwest Region, Healthcare Solutions Chad Pinnell said the number of healthcare clinics in retail shopping centers has grown by 47% in the last three years. Yet only 10% of U.S. shopping centers have a healthcare-related tenant, Pinnell told Medical Construction & Design.
“Retail spaces are uniquely positioned to capitalize on these new consumers’ need for efficiency, both in terms of cost and convenience,” Pinnell said. “Retail centers, generally located near large population centers, with longer hours of operation than a typical doctor’s office and lower fees, offer a large patient base access to a wide range of medical services, plus walk-in appointments.”
This is the second Hoag outpatient center Hoag has built in a retail neighborhood. In 2018, Hoag opened an urgent care facility in The Village at Tustin Legacy.
“If you think back 20 years ago, as a hospital on a hill, people came to us to get services,” Smith said. “One of the transformations in healthcare that we have finally figured out is that we need to deliver healthcare where our patients and communities live.”
At Hoag's new Foothill Ranch facility, Smith said they wanted to be innovative in their approach and experiment with technology. Unlike a traditional outpatient clinic, where patients just go in for their appointment and leave, Hoag wanted to create a lifestyle offering that fits the demographic of that community.
The 45K SF facility is merging traditional primary care with personalized wellness plans, which include ways for patients to sleep better, manage stress, eat healthier and exercise.
“We wanted to incorporate nutrition, fitness and address things like wearables and technology,” Smith said. “It's our attempt to pilot some of these new technologies and see if the community responds.”
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