Market for medical condos still strong

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Oral Surgery Associates has purchased a 4,500-square-foot medical office condominium at 5745 Erindale Drive.

Oral Surgery Associates has purchased a 4,500-square-foot medical office condominium at 5745 Erindale Drive.

Given the opportunity, many medical and dental practitioners are opting to buy rather than lease office space.

Last month, for example, Oral Surgery Associates bought a 4,500-square-foot medical office condominium at 5745 Erindale Drive. The group’s doctors had been tenants in the building since 1995.The practice, represented by Tom Brown of Thomas R. Brown Associates, did an in-depth analysis comparing the advantages of buying to leasing. The result, Brown said, showed that monthly loan payments would run about half of projected lease payments over time.

Dan Rundgren of Wachovia Small Business Capital facilitated the buyer’s 25-year SBA 7(a) loan.

“You really have to look at the numbers,” Brown said. “Owners like medical (tenants) because they tend to sign longer leases and often invest thousands of dollars in upgraded facilities and equipment — often above and beyond an owner’s tenant improvement allowance of $20 to $50 per square foot. Some sink as much as $80 to $150 per square foot into equipment or customized space, depending on the specialty.”

Brown said that the market for general office space has all but disappeared because financing has become more difficult to obtain, but doctors and dentists often fall into “a different category.”

“As an investment, brick-and-mortar hasn’t taken the same beating as Wall Street,” he said. “Many people don’t realize how good the interest rates are right now with 10 percent down. What Dan quoted us was unbelievable. Some lending rates were below 5 percent. You can do very well on that basis, compared to getting hammered in the stock market.”

Home sweet home

Researchers from the Pew Research Center have found that despite headlines focused on declining house prices, rising foreclosures and weak residential sales, most homeowners are not disillusioned.

In fact, the “vast majority,” or 90 percent, of homeowners polled said their home remains a “source of comfort,” while just 6 percent considered it a burden. Another 4 percent said their home is both a comfort and a burden.

Those polled were well aware of the market’s paradoxes and challenges. Of the 2,260 individuals surveyed, 82 percent said “now is a bad time to sell a home,” and 73 percent said “it is a good time to buy a home.”

A geographical snapshot of those polled also showed that attitudes about the joys — or burdens — of home ownership varied by region.

Burdened owners were defined as “less happy with their communities and themselves.” According to Zillow.com, they suffered most from the 17.5 percent drop — or a total of $6.1 trillion in home values — since the market’s peak during 2006.

Six percent of homeowners in the West viewed their residential real estate as “a burden.” That was higher than respondents in the East and the South, of whom only 4 percent saw their home at least partly as a burden. Fourteen percent of Midwesterners, on the other hand, felt burdened by home ownership.

Pew researchers also found that these less-than-happy mortgagees were more likely to sell. Almost half said they were likely to move during the next five years, compared with 30 percent who considered themselves “comforted.”

News brokers can use

In an effort to connect commercial real estate owners, buyers, tenants, managers, brokers, lenders and insurance providers worldwide, GlobalBroker.com now allows brokers and owners to post and view commercial properties for free with no registration required.

The Denver-based company hosts a Web site devoted to commercial real estate properties and facilitates property transactions. It focuses on connecting “for sale” or “for lease” owners and foreclosure/lender-owned commercial real estate holders with commercial brokers, buyers and tenants.

Office leases

Aspen Retailing Wall Systems, Inc. has leased 1,100 square feet at 4445 Northpark Drive.

Tim Leigh of Hoff & Leigh represented the landlord, L&R Northpark LLC, and the tenant.

The Still Point Medical Center has leased an office at 1430 S. 21st St.

The practice was represented by Tim Leigh and Steve Leigh, and the landlord, Com Prop IV LLC, was represented by Steve Leigh.

Center changes owners

The King Soopers-anchored Cheyenne Meadows shopping center, just east of Highway 115, has been purchased as part of a $427 million corporate acquisition.

McQuarie Country Trust sold the 90,000-square-foot retail center as part of a portfolio that included 29 other properties to Inland Real Estate Acquisitions Inc. of Plano, Texas.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.