Healthcare, real estate blend in Kansas City

A Kansas City, Missouri, hospital, seeking to preserve the neighborhood that surrounds its facility, has taken on the unusual role of residential real estate developer.

St. Luke's Hospital, working through a foundation, is building new residences, buying property, and renovating and reselling old houses in the neighborhood in an effort to stabilize and improve the neighborhood, according to an article in the Kansas City Star.

The work began 17 years ago when a foundation and trust associated with a Kansas City developer gave 93 area properties to St. Luke's Foundation, which then founded the for-profit Westport Today. Efforts to improve existing houses in the area expanded in the last few years to building and selling new residential townhouses. Property near the hospital is slated for medical building construction.

Meanwhile, the more traditional healthcare and real estate trends continue, according to the experts who participated in a healthcare real estate event in Chicago last week. Healthcare providers are upgrading amenities and taking patient convenience into account when deciding where to build, according to an article on Bisnow.

Trends in healthcare real estate include consolidation of providers, the need for flexibility in lease structures to allow the ability to adjust to market factors, the decentralization of patient care and physicians' willingness to accept development risks and pay developers flat fees to build new facilities, according to another report on Bisnow. Healthcare reform has provided an opportunity to real estate firms that invest in the medical office building market, Fierce Healthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Kansas City Star article 
- check out the news from Bisnow
- read the trends report

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