Mixed-Use Towers On Pill Hill Pitched With Medical Offices, Hotel, Assisted Living
In the late 1960s, Dr. Lea Richmond spearheaded a committee that purchased more than 20 acres of land off Johnson Ferry Road in what is today Sandy Springs for the construction of a new, nonprofit hospital. Northside Hospital opened its doors in 1970.
Nearly 50 years later, Richmond's son is looking to spearhead a companion project: a 500K SF mixed-use medical oasis just down the street from his father's successful co-creation.
Atlanta-based Richmond Honan Development & Acquisitions recently purchased two office buildings off Johnson Ferry Road known as Glenridge Point 100 and 200. The mid-rise office buildings are situated along Pill Hill, an area of Metro Atlanta known as a nexus of regional medical care with three major hospitals: Northside, Emory Saint Joseph's and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Richmond Honan plans to transform a development pad overlooking major arteries Interstate 285 and Georgia 400 into a twin-tower, 500K SF mixed-use medical project that also will be home to a dual-branded hotel and an assisted living facility.
“We feel like this is a fantastic location,” Richmond Honan Senior Vice President Stanley Sharp said. "We're literally a block from Northside's main campus, a block and a half from CHOA and two blocks from Emory Saint Joe."
Details on the plan called Glenpoint are still evolving, but Sharp said the project would include 112K SF of medical offices spread between the two towers. One tower would be home to a dual-branded hotel and the other will house the assisted living units. The towers would be connected via an elevated pedestrian bridge. Richmond Honan has not secured a hotel operator as of press time.
The project's costs were not disclosed, but Richmond Honan could break ground in late 2019, Sharp said.
Richmond Honan is the latest medical development iteration under its founder, Lea Richmond III, the son of the late Dr. Richmond, who died last year. During his 40-plus year career, Richmond has developed a string of medical office and healthcare facilities, including Nothside Hospital's 160K SF Tower at Northside that debuted in 2007, the 350K SF Crawford Long Medical Office in 1999, and the first phase of the $50M LifeHope Medical Center in Cumming in 2017. Richmond also worked at Cousins Properties for a time in the 1990s.
Glenpoint is joining a list of new medical office development in recent years. Between 2014 and 2018, 50 medical office properties encompassing 2.5M SF and nearly $1B in value were built in Metro Atlanta, according to data provided to Bisnow by Revistamed.com, and 29 of those projects opened in the past few years.
Despite the new construction, occupancy rates have improved slightly in Metro Atlanta, registering 330K SF of positive absorption in Q3 2018, according to the latest Cushman & Wakefield report.
The demand has spurred medical office rents to jump, hitting more than $25/SF on average throughout Metro Atlanta last year, a new record for the region, according to C&W researchers, who expect rents to keep going up over the next 24 months.
The growth is the byproduct of two major trends: Atlanta's overall growing population and aging baby boomers, who are increasingly needing medical services. It's a combination that gives Richmond Honan confidence for its new concept.
“If you're selling widgets, you may not always be able to sell widgets,” Sharp said. "But you're talking about something that's a primary need."