Miami Dade College has unveiled its new Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation in Miami.

The five-story, 135,000-square-foot facility was built on the college’s Medical Campus and will enable the school to expand its health sciences offerings, and create partnerships with Miami-area health care providers.

“Health care occupations are expected to grow by 18 percent by 2026,” says Dr. Bryan Stewart, Medical Campus President. “We’re going to be able to offer students the technology and resources they need to fill many of the ‘hot’ new jobs.”

An advanced medical simulation center occupies the building’s third floor, enabling students to gain essential hands-on experience working in a variety of clinical environments, including emergency, surgery, labor and delivery, primary care and home health care.

It features 15 hospital/patient rooms with high-fidelity mannequins, a simulated ambulance, a simulated one-bedroom apartment, 10 exam rooms where students will interact with actors trained to portray patients, a five-sided CAVE virtual reality space, debrief rooms where students and faculty gather to review just-completed exercises, and a partner/sponsor space.

In addition to the simulation center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation has a variety of classroom, collaboration and gathering spaces.

Among them are active learning classrooms; a 300-person multipurpose conference center; a 150-person tiered lecture facility with technology at each seat; smaller lecture classrooms; wet labs; physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant labs; a radiology suite and student breakout spaces.

The Center will primarily be used by college students and faculty, but it also will be available to local health care organizations for staff training and research.


Source: American School & University

Downtown Orlando could be growing up.

On about 2.5 acres in the North Quarter, what could be Orlando’s tallest high rise passed a crucial threshold, gaining approval from the city council of its site plan and preliminary designs, paving the way for more detailed construction plans to begin.

Called Vertical Medical City, plans show a 444-foot structure — three feet taller than downtown’s current tallest, the SunTrust Center — on Orange Avenue two blocks north of Colonial Drive overlooking Interstate 4. The $1-plus billion project would form the northern gateway into downtown, and would have medical offices, assisted-living and research offices, encompassing two buildings.

“We’re a complete transformation in how healthcare happens for our elders,” Tabitha Ponte, CEO of Ponte Health, the site’s Orlando-based developer. “It’s something that is unlike what is currently happening.”

She said they already have financing in place, in hopes of opening at some point in 2023.


Source: Orlando Sentinel

Eight months after Walmart was the first business to open in the Durbin Park shopping center, developers behind the project have submitted to St. Johns County officials a proposal for the next stage of the large-scale, mixed-use plan in the northern part of the county.

Plans for Phase II call for more than 2,000 residential units, 350 hotel rooms and more than 2 million square feet of commercial space, including office and retail. Flagler Health+, which just announced its purchase of 40 acres of the site, will also build a 150-bed hospital as part of a larger “health village” that will include medical providers, specialized services and wellness offerings.

The first anchor tenant — and only tenant, so far — to be announced is Bass Pro Shops, which will open a first location of the outdoor recreational giant retailer’s entry into the Jacksonville metro market.

The entire 1,700-acre Durbin Park property is being co-developed by the Gate Petroleum Company and the Gatlin Development Company. The first phase — located on the west side of the new I-95 interchange between State Road 9B and Race Track Road — was entirely commercial.

Phase I, called The Pavilion at Durbin Park, is about 90 percent leased and has been successful in driving customers and traffic to the complex, according to Misty Skipper, a spokeswoman with Gate Petroleum. Just a few of the businesses open already include Home Depot, Keke’s, Sprint, Tropical Smoothie and a Gate gas station/convenience store. A Cinemark movie theater is under construction, but no opening date has been set.

As proposed, Phase II, which has not been named yet, would encompass more than 1,000 acres on both sides of I-95. Gate plans to work with Gatlin on the commercial side, but they will not be partners in other uses, Skipper said.

Melissa Glasgow, the county’s director of economic development said: “Durbin Park is really transforming before our eyes right now with several new businesses opening and more buildings under construction. Residents have waited patiently to have more shopping and dining conveniences nearby without having to drive into Jacksonville. … The parking lots are consistently full, especially on evenings and weekends. Those dollars are being spent locally, which creates a positive financial impact for the county and supports programs and services provided for our residents.”

Building on the success of the first part of the project, on July 2 Gate submitted an application for the second phase of development to the county. It would require a rezoning of 1,287 acres of the project from Open Rural to Planned Unit Development, from St. Johns Parkway almost to U.S. 1.

Multi-family rental units such as townhomes and apartments would be scattered throughout the development. Skipper said there would likely be more than one hotel.

The project overview says the urban village concept will bring an “interactive gathering place” for residents as well as pedestrian-friendly open space. Plans for recreational and entertainment amenities have not yet been finalized, Skipper said.

Glasgow said she believed Phase II would “build on the solid retail foundation that has been established and add to the diversity of offerings at the development. This distinct blend of health, retail, office and hotel uses will help create an environment attractive to corporate offices and other commercial investment. … Over time, I expect Durbin Park to become one of our largest employment centers, providing jobs for our residents at all levels of the spectrum.”

As the proposal works its way through the review process, developers hoped to break ground on Phase II sometime in the next year, according to Skipper. Once completed, Durbin Park will be the largest shopping center in Northeast Florida in terms of square footage. It is expected to be built out incrementally over the next two decades, including road improvements, according to the application submitted with the county.


Source: The St. Augustine Record

Cross Regions Real Estate paid $1.6 million for North Jacksonville land to develop a medical hub.

Called Duval Station at River City Marketplace, the proposed 132,000 square feet of professional and medical offices and retail space will be developed on about 9 acres.

The site is at northeast North Main Street and Max Leggett Parkway.

Led by President and CEO David Ergisi, Cross Regions bought the land July 10 through Coastal Regions Northside LLC from Old No. 1 Partners LLC.

“Our vision is to create a medical hub for the Northside here at Duval Station, with some retail availability,” Ergisi said.

Ergisi said Cross Regions intends to develop the project in two phases. Construction will begin in the fourth quarter on the first phase, a 30,000-square-foot, two-story medical office building that is fully leased.

He said Cross Regions will start construction next year on the second phase to add medical offices and retail services.

A marketing brochure shows that Duval Station at River City Marketplace is less than a mile from the UF Health North campus.

While subject to change, the site plan shows two proposed medical and professional office buildings totaling 61,200 square feet; two retail buildings totaling 26,250 square feet; a 4,500-square-foot restaurant; and two professional offices of 20,000 square feet each.

They total about 132,000 square feet.

The brochure says build-to-suit and ground-lease opportunities are available.

Cross Regions also is developing The Fountains at St. Johns in St. Johns County, a proposed medical and retail center along County Road 210 West.

Cross Regions has offices in Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Istanbul.


Source: Jax Daily Record

In life, three things seem certain: death, taxes and investor demand for medical office space.

A company managed by North Miami real estate investor Allen Chelminsky bought two medical office buildings in Lauderhill for $5 million, records show.

The 33,290-square-foot properties are at 7100 West Commercial Boulevard and 7200 West Commercial Boulevard. J & J Properties, managed by John Ekstrom of Coral Springs and Jeth Battisto of Boca Raton, sold the commercial development for $150 per square foot.

The Class B office development was built in 1985 and house doctors’ offices, records show. The properties were last purchased for $2.5 million in 2002, records show.

Chelminsky’s family owns a portfolio of apartment buildings throughout Miami-Dade County. In June 2018, Chelminsky sold an apartment and commercial complex at 14560 Northeast Sixth Avenue in North Miami, consisting of 82 apartments and a 15,000-square-foot commercial building, for $13 million.

A number of medical office buildings have traded hands in South Florida over the past few years for prices that are significantly above their last sale prices. Some of the demand could be due to the aging population of baby boomers who need more medical care. Medical office buildings are also seen as recession-proof and a safe bet for investors looking to buy real estate near the end of the cycle.

In May, the Toledo, Ohio-based investment firm Welltower purchased a 54,484-square foot medical office building at 2901 Coral Hills Drive in Coral Springs for $18.35 million.


Source: The Real Deal

NeoGenomics, described by one employee as “doctors for cancer doctors,” will build a 150,000-square-foot, $50 million-to-$60 million international headquarters in south Lee County.

The only international company that focuses exclusively on comprehensive cancer diagnostics, NeoGenomics started in about 1,200 square feet of space in 2006 in Gateway after relocating from Naples.

It has seen significant growth, encompassing about 90,000 square feet of space in five buildings clustered north of Daniels Parkway at 12701 Commonwealth Drive, off Westlinks Drive, just east of JetBlue Park.

The new site covers about 14 acres just west of Interstate 75 and about half a mile north of Alico Road along Three Oaks Parkway.

“We want to do something special for our employees,” said NeoGenomics CEO Doug VanOort, who has presided over the company’s growth from 100 to 1,500 employees across the nation and even around the world since he arrived a decade ago.

The company also has laboratories in Tampa; Houston, Texas; Aliso Viejo and Fresno, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Rolle, Switzerland and Singapore, with another in the planning stages for China.

The new headquarters will be the home base for administration and an expanded laboratory, and the other locations will remain in use.

“They have been working very hard in the facilities we have,” VanOort said. “This is going to give us more efficient use of space. It is a place we will all feel proud of.”

Projected to break ground by the end of the year and to open by the end of 2021, the new headquarters will have room for the company’s 300 existing Lee County-based employees and additional space for the 295 people expected to be hired in the next five years.

Those hires will help the company receive $374,000 in tax credit incentives from the Lee County government and $1.77 million from the state of Florida, plus more for construction costs from the state.

John Talmage, director of Lee County economic development, said NeoGenomics’s growth played into the economic incentives. The county has been working behind the scenes to insure a swift building permitting process, he said.

“Because they have a track record with us, and they have continued to grow here and internationally, they are developing programs with FGCU, they have been doing a lot of recruiting – that’s the kind of company that’s easy for us to work with, because they have been able to grow so quickly,” Talmage said.

The health care-oriented company also brings needed diversity to Lee County’s tourism-heavy workforce, Talmage said.

“It’s really a new industry for us,” he said. “It’s one of the largest cancer diagnostic companies in the world. To have that kind of intellectual knowledge in our workforce is unbelievable.”

VanOort estimated Florida would help fund $25 million to $30 million of the construction costs as part of the state’s investment capital tax credit program. After spending the first $25 million to build and after hiring the 100th new employee, NeoGenomics can seek annual tax credits up to five percent of the eligible costs for up to 20 years for the cost of the building, subject to the company’s ability to generate the necessary income.

The land is under contract and slated to close before the end of the month. Seagate Development Group, based in Gateway, will buy the land, build to suit for NeoGenomics and lease it for 20 years with lengthy options to renew.

The parcel is owned by Alan Freeman, whose family developed land all along Three Oaks Parkway, north and south of Alico Road. The asking price: about $5.9 million, $10 per square foot.

“They’re always strategic sellers,” said Gary Tasman, CEO of Cushman & Wakefield, who is involved with the forthcoming transaction as the local part of a global real estate team. “They are strategic about selling to the right people who will help add value to the rest of their properties.

“This is a major, major impact to our market in terms of job creation and economic contribution to the area that our market wants. It’s an important transaction.”

Although no secret the company would be expanding, details of the location were kept “close to the vest” until Tuesday, when employees celebrated with a catered lunch under a tent outside the Gateway buildings followed by a company town hall meeting with VanOort.

Helen Edenfield, national director of operations excellence for NeoGenomics and the company’s third employee, has been working behind the scenes to scout potential locations and hire the architect and construction contractors. She said the company chose the land north of Alico Road over two other site candidates.

“For our visibility and our branding, we will be there right off I-75,” Edenfield said. “Whether it be in two years when we move in or 15 years from now, that’s not going to change.

“I think it’s a great location. It’s close to the airport. For the lab, we need it to be centric to the airport. It’s close to FGCU. We can continue our relationships with the university and grow that.”

The facility, slightly smaller than the 171,000-square-foot Hertz Arena, was originally planned for 90,000 square feet, but the company decided to build bigger than needed to avoid outgrowing space in the future.

“That’s one of the great things about this company,” Edenfield said. “We can pause and think about things. What did we need?”

Lab technicians do the grim work of diagnosing cancer at quiet cubicles before passing along their findings to on-site doctors for more in-depth analysis.

Dr. Mojdeh Naghashpour works remotely from the east coast of Florida but said she has considered returning to Fort Myers because of the new facility.

“We are the doctor’s doctor,” she said. “I’m so delighted to be a part of this company. This company has a responsibility to its shareholders, but at the same time, they give us the autonomy to make critical, medical decisions.”

Felix De La Cruz, the NeoGenomics site director, is among the many employees looking forward to having more work space. Although he was born in the Dominican Republic, he considers himself a homegrown employee, having graduated from North Fort Myers High School in 2002 and from FGCU with a degree in biotechnology.

“It’s going to be great for us,” he said. “Right now, we are almost bursting at the seams. We seem to set up a laboratory, expand, and then we’re ready for more space. We’re excited to get something new and fresh and something we can grow into.”

New NeoGenomics: A look at some of the contractors involved in the construction of a new world headquarters for the cancer diagnostics company. The project is slated to cost $50-to$60 million and open by the end of 2021.


Source: News-Press

Boca Raton Regional Hospital is now part of the biggest health care system in South Florida.

The hospital completed its merger with Baptist Health South Florida on Monday, which gives Baptist Health 11 hospitals from the Florida Keys to Palm Beach County. It now has nearly 23,000 employees, over 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers.

“Our organizations share the same calling to improve the health and well-being of individuals and to deliver compassionate healthcare to our patients at the highest standards of excellence and safety,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “We foresee an exciting future at Boca Raton Regional Hospital that will cement its title as the preeminent healthcare provider in the community.”

The 400-bed Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the top-ranked hospital by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital list. The nonprofit medical facility has facilities for oncology, neuroscience, women’s health, and more. It also hosts Florida Atlantic University’s College of Graduate Medical Education.

After 11 years as CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Jerry Fedele will retire in August. He will be replaced by Lincoln S. Mendez, who is currently CEO of Baptist Health’s South Miami Hospital.

“Establishing our partnership with Baptist Health represents an important milestone in the history of Boca Regional,” Fedele said. “It is one that continues the positive momentum and trajectory of Boca Regional as the premier healthcare provider in South Florida.”

For Baptist Health, the merger grows its presence in Palm Beach County, where it already has Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West.

Being part of a larger hospital system will allow Boca Raton Regional to operate more efficiently with stronger bulk purchasing power and better access to financial markets.

According to an announcement to its bondholders on July 1, Boca Raton Regional said it and Baptist Health are seeking to issue a bond to refund the 2014-issued bonds by the Boca Raton hospital.

For the quarter that ended March 31, 2019, Boca Raton Regional had net income of $10.2 million on revenue of $157.2 million, according to a report to its bondholders.

During the same period, Baptist Health had net income of $224 million on revenue of $844.8 million. Combined, their revenue that quarter exceeded $1 billion.

Boca Raton Regional has a robust fundraising pipeline. It raised $51.3 million in donations for the nine months that ended March 31, 2019.


Source: SFBJ