Offices going up at Baptist Health

Flake & Kelley Commercial plans to build a $10 million medical office building on the Baptist Health campus in Little Rock, the first such building near the hospital since the 1980s, the developer said Friday.

The 40,000-square-foot building will be located on what is now a parking lot at the eastern edge of the campus at the intersection of Baptist Health and Emergency drives.

The development will be the first medical office building on the main Baptist Health campus since Medical Towers II was completed in 1986, said John Flake, chairman of the Little Rock commercial real estate firm.

Flake also is managing member of Emergency Drive LLC, which acquired the 5-acre site from Baptist Health in August for almost $873,000.

The building should have tenants committed to 70 percent of the space before construction begins, which is expected to be early next year, said James Harkins, a partner with Flake & Kelley.

Harkins declined to name tenants who will be in the building, although he said a couple are in different stages of commitment.

“I hope that by the first part of the year, some of the tenants will be making their own announcements,” Harkin’s said. “I’ll leave that up to them.”

There is a major demand for space at the Little Rock campus of Baptist Health, said Mark Lowman, a spokesman for the hospital.

“That’s why some of the other buildings [on the campus] have multiple use [of space] in them,” Lowman said.

It is uncertain how many physicians will locate in the building because it is unknown how much space each tenant will need, Harkins said.
The medical office building will be split level, providing patients with floor-level access to all suites. There will be several different physician specialties in the building, Harkins said.

There has been growth in the medical office sector nationally, Harkins said.

“I think a lot of it was driven by the changes in the health care laws,” Harkins said. “A lot of doctors are coming together to increase their referral base. These doctors can get efficiencies from a billing standpoint, an accounting standpoint and a compliance standpoint! .”
B eing on the Baptist Health campus is a huge benefit! , Harkins said.

The building will include state-of-the-art technology, Flake said.
“Everything now is electronic,” Flake said. “If you go back to the 1980s, doctors, of course, had [paper] medical records on their patients.”

The focus on having electronic medical records has been in the works for at least five years, said Paul Cunningham, executive vice president of the Arkansas Hospital Association.

“More and more hospitals and physicians buildings are moving to the use of electronic health records,” Cunningham said.

“It is definitely a trend nationwide.”

The building will allow physicians to maximize their patient flow and the efficiency of their space, Harkins said.

“A lot of the physicians’ offices have an antiquated flow based on the previous need for record storage,” Harkins said.

“We’ll have a more efficient layout here.”

Flake & Kelley will be the development manager of the project. Williams & Dean Associated Architects of Little Rock will be the project’s architect. VCC Construction will be the general contractor.

It will take about 10 months to construct the building, Haitham Alley of VCC said in a prepared statement.

Arkansas Democrat – Business Section on 12/13/2014

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