- Category: Top Stories
- Published on Friday, 12 October 2012 01:00
- Written by Nicholas Shannon Kulmac
Vancouver-based RSV Building Solutions has unveiled plans to build a 30,000-square-foot two-story medical building on the northwest corner of NE 139th Street and 10th Avenue near Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. Construction is scheduled to begin late next month.
Backing the project are four Vancouver medical groups: Adventure Dental, Cascadia Women’s Clinic, Creekside Medical and Balanced Physical Therapy.
“We started talking with Creekside Medical about the dream that one day it would be nice to own instead of rent,” explained Debbie Lehner, owner of Balanced Physical Therapy. “We started looking at our options and came to find that Adventure Dental and Cascadia were also interested in doing similar things.”
Instrumental in bringing the four diverse medical groups together (nine owners in total) was RSV. President Ron Frederiken commented that as individual practices, none of them would have been able to realize their dream of building ownership.
“If they had not come together, none of them would own anything,” he said. “The reason why is because none of them individually needed enough space. You cannot find space for 5,000-square-foot buildings.”
“Also where that collaboration paid off was with people and banking relationships,” Frederiksen added. “Now when you go to a potential lender, instead of one person saying ‘I would like to build a 5,000-square-foot dental clinic,’ you say ‘we would like to buy a 30,000-square-foot medical clinic.’ With nine medical professionals, their spouses and a large book of business, if you walk into a lender it really means something now.”
Approximately 70 employees will be working out of the new medical building, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. Frederiksen said the total cost of the project including land fees and design is between $7.5 and $9 million.
Helping draw the medical group to NE 139th Street and 10th Avenue – the west side of Interstate 5 and 205 –
was the upcoming $43 million phase of the Salmon Creek Interchange. The road project includes a 139th Street bridge over the two freeways, easing access to Legacy Salmon Creek.
“It was important to have one traffic light or no traffic lights [between our building and the hospital] because if, for example, you’re delivering babies at Cascadia you need to be able to get there fast,” said Lehner. “Once that overpass is done it will be very convenient.”
Impact fee waiver pays off
Just weeks before purchasing the 139th Street property, the medical group was preparing for the possibility that the deal would ultimately fall through.
“We were looking at the numbers and trying to figure out a way to keep the deal alive,” said Frederiksen. “Right in the middle of it were impact fees of $600,000. When the county said they might consider waving that, we thought this might work after all.”
Lehner added that if the $600,000 in impact fees had been applied to the property, the medical group would have walked away. Instead, the county agreed to the fee waiver after establishing a job creation threshold. Frederiksen said that threshold has since been satisfied.
“[The fee waiver] did exactly what the county hoped it would do,” he noted.