MemorialCare Signs Lease To Occupy Former Borders Building In Los Altos
Retail Space To Be Turned Into Medical Offices By End Of Year
By Sean Belk - Staff Writer
June 19, 2012 – MemorialCare Health System has signed a long-term lease to expand its offsite medical services into a two-story, 30,000-square-foot building at the Los Altos MarketCenter.
The space, located on Bellflower Boulevard at Stearns Street, is one of two retail buildings in Long Beach that were vacated by Borders, the national bookstore chain that shut down last year. A discount bookstore is temporarily taking up the other 20,000-square-foot location at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor in downtown.
MemorialCare, which operates three of the largest hospitals in the Long Beach area, signed an 11-year lease, including an option to continue another 10 years with Atlanta-based Cousins Properties, Inc., which owns most of the Los Altos shopping center (it does not own the Sears building). Physicians and urgent care services should be moved by the end of the year, following renovations and tenant improvements to the facility, according to representatives.
“We believe MemorialCare will be an excellent fit for Los Altos MarketCenter,” said Mike Cohn, executive vice president of Cousins Properties, via e-mail. “They will offer quality healthcare to the surrounding community, while bringing additional foot traffic to the center. We’re thrilled to have them.”
Diana Hendel, CEO of Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, told the Business Journal in an e-mailed statement that the building, at 2110 Bellflower Blvd., will be renovated this year to make way for primary care physicians, such as family medical physicians, internal medical physicians and pediatricians.
About seven physicians, along with onsite urgent care services for minor ailments and x-rays and laboratory services, will initially be relocated to the site. The number of physicians will more than double in the future, with total employees gradually increasing as well, she said.
The move furthers MemorialCare’s strategy of providing more “convenience” to patients and members by spreading out physician practices and medical services, Hendel said.
“MemorialCare Health System continues to expand and add new locations to ensure our communities have convenient and easy access to physicians and ancillary services for all their primary care needs,” she stated. “Establishing this new medical facility is critical to the Long Beach and surrounding communities and their needs for primary care physicians and services today and in the future.”
The facility, which is located next to a CVS Pharmacy, will serve as an “access point” for community members looking for comprehensive primary care services in one location, Hendel said. The concept is similar to other models where medical services are attached to retail shopping centers. MemorialCare has already opened three health clinics, called “HealthExpress,” which offer walk-in clinics at Albertsons/Sav-On Pharmacy locations in Orange County. Locations include Huntington Beach, Irvine and Mission Viejo.
Los Altos businesses are so far reacting positively to the news of MemorialCare moving in, she said. “We have met with businesses in the area, and all reacted positively to the project because it offers the community high quality medical and health services,” Hendel said. “One of the fastest growing trends in the healthcare industry is locating healthcare service in retail areas convenient to patients and communities.”
In addition, she said the new medical facility will be “very conducive to patient care and incorporate many new physician office space designs, creating a warm and caring environment for our patients.” At full physician-capacity, the space is expected to generate in excess of 100,000 visits annually, with “sufficient” parking adjacent to the building for patients, Hendel said. Major tenants at the 182,000-square-foot shopping center include L.A. Fitness, Bristol Farms, Sears, T.J. Maxx and Wells Fargo.
MemorialCare is one of the largest employers in Long Beach. Throughout the local region, the healthcare company operates six hospitals: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center; Community Hospital Long Beach; Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach; Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley; and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente. The entire healthcare system has 11,000 plus employees and 2,500 affiliated physicians.