An owner and operator of co-working spaces for doctors has tapped Florida as its next big market for expansion.
ShareMD, a San Diego-based investment firm led by President and managing partner George Scopetta, is looking to purchase medical office buildings throughout the Sunshine State’s major cities and convert vacant space into its co-working concept. The group has already purchased two buildings, one in South Miami and another in Coral Gables, where it plans to launch the operation in Florida.
Last week, it paid $33.15 million for the buildings at 5966 South Dixie Highway and 475 Biltmore Way. Each is about 50,000 square feet.
“Because of the demographics in Florida, we are aggressively trying to expand in the metropolitan areas,” said Easton & Associates Vice President Elliot LaBreche, who represented ShareMD in the two acquisitions. LaBreche said the firm is negotiating deals in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, near healthcare hubs, and looking for properties in Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and West Palm Beach.
The buildings have to have vacant space that ShareMD would then convert to its furnished medical office space concept. In Southern California, ShareMD has locations in La Jolla, San Diego, Encinitas, Temecula, Oceanside and Los Angeles.
The company operates as WeShareMD, but is in the process of changing its name. It offers fully furnished medical office space and patient rooms available by the half-day, day, week or month, according to its website. Locations also have private storage areas, meeting space and common waiting rooms.
In addition to major metro areas in Florida, the company is looking to expand in markets like Atlanta, outside of Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, and Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina.
“There’s a lot of metros in the Sun Belt with a higher portion of the population over 65,” LaBreche said. In addition to demographics, he said that insurance companies favoring outpatient care over hospital visits also contributes to the demand for shared medical office space.
In Coral Gables, ShareMD will convert about 5,000 square feet of space into shared medical office space, and in South Miami it will carve out between 3,500 square feet and 4,000 square feet, LaBreche said. Büro, a traditional co-working space operator, is a current tenant of the South Miami building.
The ShareMD locations could be delivered within the next eight months, LaBreche said.
“If you have a doctor, and their primary practice is in Fort Lauderdale, but they have some patients in Miami and West Palm, but not enough patients to support their practice,” he said, “they can join the ShareMD network and use our offices as satellite offices.”