Developers Prepare To Break Ground On $35M Medical Office Park West Of Fort Worth
A rapidly growing community west of Fort Worth will soon become home to a $35M medical office park aimed at improving healthcare access in the area.
Willow Park is the second-largest city in Parker County, an area that saw its population increase by 27% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The 8.5-acre site acquired by real estate investment firm Velocis is located in the Interstate 20 corridor between Fort Worth and Weatherford, where a network of doctors has emerged to meet growing demand for medical care in the community.
“Our building is there to serve what I would call an underserved community,” Velocis co-founder and partner Mike Lewis told Bisnow. “The doctors are telling us that they have the patients, but the patients are driving to Fort Worth. This is giving an opportunity to serve them in their community instead of them going elsewhere for healthcare.”
According to census data, 86% of residents in Parker County were insured as of 2020. This high rate of healthcare coverage, along with the diverse mix of ages in the community, was appealing to Velocis.
“It’s a very stable community with good incomes,” Lewis said. “It’s not an area that you would go in and build and worry about patients not being able to afford healthcare.”
The project, developed by Prime Healthcare Properties and designed by Grace Hebert Curtis Architects, will include two speculative medical office buildings comprising 100K SF. Ethan Garner, senior vice president with JLL Dallas and leasing agent for the project, is already in talks with several potential tenants, including one practice that could occupy a large swath of space, Lewis said.
“By the time we finish this building, we should be very well leased, if not completely leased,” he said. “We’ve done our homework and feel a high level of confidence that there is enough demand.”
Texas Health Willow Park hospital is located adjacent to the site, as well as several ambulatory surgery centers that are under construction. This project aims to build upon the area’s existing community of doctors, Lewis said.
“These will be very classic medical office buildings where you have doctors that want to be in a facility where you get a lot of referrals back and forth,” he said. “We want doctors that complement each other.”
Demand from the nation’s aging population as well as the industry’s stability during down cycles have driven high levels of investment activity from companies like Velocis in recent years. Lewis said his team has been bullish on healthcare since the company’s inception in 2010, which kicked off with the purchase of a 100K SF MOB in Austin.
“Everybody needs healthcare, so it’s almost recession-proof," he said. "All of our assets in the medical field have been solid performers."
Lewis said his team had planned for two phases of construction, but the high degree of demand will likely necessitate that both buildings are constructed concurrently. The project is expected to break ground this year and wrap up in 2023.
“We are very eager to get started, mainly because we have demand right now that would warrant us completing by a certain date,” Lewis said. “We want to make sure we are up and ready and that it works for these prospects we are talking to."