Top healthcare construction projects of 2015; Building surges as demand picks up, Revista says

About $97 billion in projects for new hospitals, expansions and off-campus clinics and medical offices currently underway.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Healthcare construction nationwide is booming, with about $97 billion in projects for new hospitals, expansions and off-campus clinics and medical offices currently underway, according to Revista.

The Annapolis-based company, which began tracking medical construction in 2014, said 1,340 projects started in the past year or remain in the planning stages.

See table below for the Top 50 projects

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"Providers are watching and everyone is asking why this sector is such a good investment," said Revista Principal Hilda Flower Martin. "It's proven to be more stable. Tenants tend to stay in the building. Physician practices normally don't want to move."

Providers use Revista's database to see what the competition is doing. Revista maps property locations, ownership information, demographic details and keeps an inventory of available space.

[Also: Health centers score $500 million from HHS to expand]

"They can go in and assess the landscape and it gives them a good jumping point of where they should be buying or building," Flower Martin said. "They can look at comparable sales in areas and see who's there and what it's going to cost."

Though most hospital projects are renovations, Revista is tracking 150 new hospital construction projects across the U.S. that feature a complete hospital replacement or a brand new building.

The top five projects are valued at over a billion.

Topping the list at $2 billion is the Tisch Hospital expansion in New York, the flagship acute care facility for NYU Langone Medical Center, totaling 800,000 square feet.

Next is the $1.5 billion construction of a new hospital tower at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Loma Linda University Medical Center in California is replacing its main medical campus for $1.2 billion, the most expensive of its construction to date in a string of projects.

At $1.1 billion, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, California, ties for the fourth most expensive current project. The expansion will add an estimated 521,000 square feet to the existing 300,000 square-foot hospital.

In Aurora, Colorado, the VA Hospital, Fitzsimmons campus, is replacing its campus, at a cost of $1.1 billion, though The Washington Post earlier this year put the price tag at $1.7 billion. It is among four VA medical center projects – the others are in Las Vegas, Orlando and New Orleans, that are behind schedule and over budget, according to the published report.

California and Texas lead the country in healthcare real estate construction, Flower Martin said.

California currently has $11.8 billion in projects. Much of this is due to the California Seismic Safety Act mandating hospitals meet structural guidelines to withstand a major earthquake. The deadline is 2030.

A hospital evaluation, completed in 2001, showed that 40 percent of California's hospitals were vulnerable to collapse in an earthquake, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

"All of these hospitals have to meet certain standards," Flower Martin said. "They're so expensive to renovate to these standards they just rebuild."

Construction in California also costs more. The price is estimated at $2 million per bed, compared to $1.7 million for the rest of the U.S., she said.

Texas has $7.7 billion in projects in the works, and that state has no requirement for a certificate of need prior to a new facility being built, according to Flower Martin. In Texas, the market is working strictly on supply and demand and is seeing a growth in facilities such as Memorial Hermann that has two hospitals in the state under construction.

In Louisiana, two big projects are underway that were deemed necessary after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area 10 years ago. One is the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Replacement Hospital in New Orleans that was supposed to open in 2014, but now has a target date of 2016. At a cost of $995 million, it's ranked sixth on Revista's list of most expensive projects.

Revista's top 10 cities for medical construction, including surrounding regions, are, in order: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami -Fort Lauderdale, New York and Newark, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Flower Martin said the uptick in medical construction is driven by several factors, including the need for off-campus buildings, such as urgent care facilities.

"Look across what hospitals are building as far as ambulatory space, there's a movement to go out into the community and away from the campus," she said.

Another is that more people are seeing a doctor, she said.

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The number of people who have gotten health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, government, their employer or on their own has risen by 15.3 million people in the past two years, according to Flower Martin.

Revista translates these numbers into square feet. In 2013, for every insured person, there was 4.8 square feet of medical office space; today, that's 4.58 square feet. An additional 62 million square feet would be needed to fill the gap, she said.

There's also an elderly population demographic that's rising. Statistics show that 66 percent of those 65 or older see a doctor three or more times a year, compared to 26 percent of those in the 18 to 24 age group, she said.

Here is Revista's data on the Top 50 projects currently in progress, ranked by project value:

Property Type Status Project value Square feet New beds Construction start Projected open
Property Type Status Project value Square feet New beds Construction start Projected open
Tisch Hospital Hospital Open $2,000,000,000 800,000 374 1/1/2013 1/1/2017
Hospital Of The University Of Pennsylvania Hospital Open $1,500,000,000 0 700 3/1/2015 3/1/2017
Loma Linda University Medical Center Hospital Open $1,200,000,000 0 0 10/1/2015 12/1/2019
Lucile Packard Children'S Hospital At Stanford Hospital Open $1,100,000,000 521,000 0 1/14/2015 3/1/2017
Va Hospital - Fitzsimons Campus Hospital Construction $1,100,000,000 1,200,000 0 6/1/2010 6/1/2017
Southeast Louisiana Veterans Replacement Hospital Hospital Construction $995,000,000 1,600,000 0 12/1/2010 9/1/2016
Kaiser Permanente - Central Hospital Hospital Construction $900,000,000 565,000 450 6/2/2014 3/1/2017
David H. Koch Center Medical Office Building Construction $895,500,000 568,801 0 8/1/2014 8/1/2018
San Francisco General Hospital Hospital Construction $887,400,000 360,000 284 10/29/2009 12/5/2015
Louisville Va Medical Center Hospital Construction $880,000,000 0 110 6/1/2016 6/1/2020
Inova Fairfax Hospital Hospital Open $850,000,000 876,000 482 6/1/2010 6/1/2016
Boston Children's Hospital Hospital Open $850,000,000 445,000 0 8/1/2016 1/2/2000
Jacobs Medical Center Hospital Construction $839,000,000 509,500 245 1/3/2012 1/1/2016
Valley Hospital Hospital Open $750,000,000 433,000 -3 1/4/2016 1/2/2000
Alameda County Medical Center Hospital Open $682,000,000 230,000 160 3/1/2010 6/1/2017
Largo Regional Medical Center Hospital Construction $655,000,000 711,699 280 6/21/2015 3/1/2017
Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center Hospital Open $650,000,000 1,340,000 160 5/27/2015 3/1/2019
Sutter Health California Pacific Medical Center Hospital Construction $600,000,000 215,000 120 10/1/2014 1/1/2019
John Peter Smith Hospital expansion Hospital Construction $582,500,000 739,011 157 Unknown Unknown
Maricopa Medical Center Hospital Open $571,000,000 0 0 7/9/2015 1/2/2000
Houston Methodist Hospital Hospital Open $540,000,000 470,000 390 7/13/2015 6/1/2017
Rehabilitation Institute Of Chicago Medical Other Construction $523,000,000 900,000 242 7/1/2013 1/1/2017
Stanford Hospital Hospital Open $500,000,000 824,000 368 5/13/2013 3/1/2018
Banner - University Medical Center Tucson Hospital Open $500,000,000 689,000 336 3/1/2016 6/1/2019
Barnes Jewish Hospital North Hospital Construction $500,000,000 0 0 3/1/2018 1/2/2000
Grace Health System Medical Center Lubbock Hospital Construction $500,000,000 350,000 0 3/1/2016 9/1/2017
Methodist Hospital Tower Hospital Construction $500,000,000 620,000 200 10/5/2015 1/2/2000
Sanford Fargo Medical Center Hospital Construction $494,000,000 1,000,000 384 7/1/2012 9/1/2017
Vassar Brothers Medical Center Hospital Open $466,000,000 696,000 294 4/1/2016 2/1/2019
Covenant Medical Center Hospital Open $450,000,000 500,000 0 9/1/2016 9/1/2021
Jeanne S. Rich Professional Office Building Medical Office Building Open $450,000,000 640,000 305 5/15/2013 1/1/2016
Stamford Hospital (Replacement) Hospital Open $450,000,000 640,000 0 5/15/2013 8/1/2016
Brigham And Women'S Hospital - Building For The Future Medical Office Building Construction $450,000,000 620,000 0 5/1/2013 12/1/2016
Jennie Sealy Hospital Hospital Construction $438,000,000 758,677 310 4/1/2012 6/1/2016
Washington Adventist Hospital - White Oak Campus Hospital Construction $434,900,000 0 201 3/14/2016 3/1/2019
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Hospital Open $426,000,000 470,000 114 10/1/2014 9/1/2017
Shands Hospital At The University Of Florida Hospital Open $415,000,000 500,000 216 11/15/2014 3/1/2018
St Lukes Regional Medical Center Hospital Open $400,000,000 357,000 0 1/11/2016 1/2/2000
Emory University Hospital Hospital Open $400,000,000 456,144 210 2/13/2014 1/1/2017
Spartanburg Regional Medical Center Hospital Open $400,000,000 400,000 0 3/1/2018 3/1/2021
Baptist Health South Florida Cancer Center Medical Office Building Construction $400,000,000 340,000 0 7/30/2014 4/1/2016
Focal Point Saint Anthony Hospital Hospital Construction $400,000,000 450,000 150 1/2/2000 1/2/2000
Lexington Medical Center New Patient Tower Hospital Open $400,000,000 550,000 70 4/1/2016 1/2/2000
Marin General Hospital Hospital Open $394,000,000 360,000 165 1/1/2016 1/1/2020
Coney Island Hospital Hospital Open $390,000,000 0 0 6/26/2016 1/2/2000
University Of Nebraska Medical Center Hospital Open $370,000,000 695,000 108 10/14/2013 5/1/2016
University Of Iowa Children'S Hospital Hospital Construction $360,200,000 480,000 0 6/21/2013 10/1/2016
Seton Medical Center Hospital Open $360,000,000 0 192 2/14/2017 1/1/2020
Texas Childrens Hospital Hospital Construction $360,000,000 548,000 48 2/1/2014 6/1/2017
Bluhawk Marketplace Hospital Construction $357,000,000 240,000 0 9/1/2015 1/2/2000

Twitter: @SusanJMorse