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Old Target Building in Waco, Texas, Puts Bulls-Eye on Health Care Industry

February 19, 2008

By Mike Copeland, Waco Tribune-Herald, Texas

Feb. 17–It would be impossible to recognize the old Target store at Sanger Avenue and State Highway 6.

No bull’s-eye signs or shopping carts to be seen.

The 98,500-square-foot building has been transformed into Central Texas Medical Center, where doctors relocating from other parts of town will offer an array of services.

“It’s fully committed,” says spokesman Wes Gilliland, referring to lease space in the building. The owners, including 22 local physicians, spent $3 million gutting the place and modernizing its shell into an attractive medical complex.

Now the owners have turned their attention to “finishing out” space for tenants who want to customize their leased areas.

Gilliland says the owners are paying up to $40 a square foot for the finish-out work. The tenants are responsible for any amount above that, “and it typically costs $80 to $100 a square foot for medical finish-out,” he says, adding that most tenants are choosing to pay what they owe upfront and not roll it into their leases.

So far, two groups have occupied space in Central Texas Medical Center: the Waco Center for Women’s Health, which took 17,000 square feet, and Heart of Texas Pediatrics, which is leasing 5,000 square feet.

Dr. Jeff Chancellor says the Waco Center for Women’s Health represents a “melting pot” of physicians and services. He left Scott & White to join the staff; Dr. John Bagnasco previously was with Providence Health Center; and Dr. Katherine Haynes and Dr. Paul Redman had private practices. They joined the original women’s- health staff of Drs. Richard Haskett, Brian Becker, Mark Moore and Michelle Manning.

The center, which also has nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, provides standard obstetric and gynecological services, Chancellor says. The center also handles minor surgical procedures, treats patients suffering from heavy bleeding and performs health maintenance exams.

“We take care of pregnant patients, but we have no birthing center,” he says. “Deliveries will take place at Providence.” Chancellor says the staff is proud of its new location, “and the patients seem pleased with the facilities we have to offer. We have plenty of elbow room, so we’re not stumbling over each other with our combination of practices. It’s a pleasant atmosphere.”

Other services are committed to moving into the new center. Most are relocating from other Waco locations, including the Hillcrest Medical Tower, which appears on track to become Waco’s new police headquarters. Services include:

–Central Texas Urology, which is relocating from Fish Pond Medical Plaza, 15,000 square feet.

–Fish Pond Surgery Center, 17,000 square feet.

–Waco Ear Nose & Throat, 8,000 square feet.

–Dr. Joe Knipper, dermatologist, 2,500 square feet.

–Central Texas Eye Clinic, 9,000 square feet.

–Central Texas Pathology Laboratory, 12,000 square feet.

“Those are our main tenants, but there are going to be other core services in the building, including laboratory and radiology services,” Gilliland says.

On top of all that, the center will have a coffee shop.

Good location, timing The building has a combination of owners, including some physicians who will practice there. Gilliland says a few doctors with a stake in Central Texas Medical Center also have ownership interest in Fish Pond Medical Plaza, 6600 Fish Pond Rd.

CGC Southwest Management Services, which manages medical offices locally, also is an owner. Partners in CGC are Gilliland, accountant John Cawthron and attorney Meredith Cawthron.

The Target on State Highway 6 became vacant in 2003 when a new Target Greatland opened on Bosque Boulevard.

Waco real estate agent Jim Peevey says space in the old Target hit the market at just the right time c as more doctors and health- related professionals move to be near Providence Health Center and the pair of hospitals Hillcrest Health System is spending $184 million to build at State Highway 6 and Interstate 35.

“It’s an ideal location, and it offers the space we need as a growing group,” Chancellor says. “We already have close proximity to Providence, and we’re looking forward to Hillcrest’s project.

“The future looks nice,” he says.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Waco Tribune-Herald, Texas

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