Making its first play in "The Natural State," Landmark Healthcare Facilities LLC acquired a four-building portfolio totaling 100,000 square feet from Saline Memorial Hospital for approximately $15 million. The Wisconsin buyer plans a reposition of the buildings by bringing rents up to market rate.
Nicholas F. Checota, president of the Milwaukee-based Landmark Healthcare Properties, tells GlobeSt.com the majority of the leases on the medical office side are month-to month. As leases are converted into more long-term agreements, "there is limited downside and some nice upside," Checota comments.
Landmark Healthcare's focus on and knowledge of health care facilities and medical office buildings was what won the company the portfolio, notes E. Hunter Beebe with Healthcare Real Estate Capital in New York City. Beebe, who advised Saline Memorial Hospital on the marketing and sale of the 1980s and 1990s assets, tells GlobeSt.com the medical office collection attracted a lot of interest on a regional and national level.
Ultimately, though, "the hospital was eager to work with Landmark because of its track record," Beebe notes, explaining that when health care systems sell real estate, they still have a vested interest in the day-to-day operations. Landmark Healthcare proved they knew what they were doing, he says.
Checota says Landmark Healthcare has been focused on building and acquiring on-campus medical office buildings for years, and regularly targets health care systems and medical campuses for potential product acquisitions. When it comes to investment, Landmark Healthcare has two main criteria: No spec medical and on-campus product, for the most part. The Saline deal followed these parameters, as three of the buildings are on the hospital's main campus, making up its medical park. The fourth building is in Bryant, AR, which is 10 minutes away.
Just as important a factor in making a deal, Checota says, is the financial health of the hospital. The health care system has to be a stable one. Again, with Saline Memorial Hospital being more or less one of the few games in town when it comes to health care in central Arkansas, the system isn't going away any time soon.
Neither is Landmark Healthcare; Checota says the company hangs around for the long term after buying. "We're a long-term holder," Checota says. "We've never actually sold a building."