Growing Demand For Medical Office Buildings Encourages Transit-Oriented Development
The city of Los Angeles has shortened construction timelines on 28 of its transit projects as part of its preparation for the 2028 Olympics. The “Twenty-Eight by ’28 Initiative" calls for the expedited completion of ambitious projects, like public transit through the notoriously congested Sepulveda Pass.
Growing public and private interest in improving Los Angeles transit has prompted developers to explore building mixed-use projects along these new transportation routes.
Young professionals drawn to urban centers for work and play have been a focus of transit-oriented projects. But beyond millennial appeal, a push for transit-oriented development in car-centric Los Angeles benefits the growing number of Americans aging in place. Medical office buildings and urgent care centers placed along transit lines could provide immediate healthcare access for older residents.
Mobility among retiring baby boomers will become a major concern in the near future. By 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be 65 or older. A quarter of that group does not drive. Between 2010 and 2030, the older adult population in the Los Angeles region is expected to grow from 1.1 million to more than 2.1 million.
In suburban areas or cities prone to urban sprawl, giving up one’s car keys can lead to social isolation. Of adults 65 and up who had not taken a trip outside their homes in the past week, more than half of those surveyed said they would like to get out more regularly but lack the ability to do so. Poor transit also can lead to missed medical appointments.
Urgent care centers and medical office buildings have helped bring quality treatment into neighborhoods. Shopping plazas have become ideal locations for medical office buildings and urgent care centers. At the intersection of North Sepulveda Boulevard and 33rd Street in Manhattan Beach, Exer More Than Urgent Care opened a new medical center. The facility plans to offer more services than a typical center, including on-site X-ray, laceration treatment rooms and expanded diagnostics capabilities.
Parker Brown, a general contractor in Canoga Park, has built out several medical facilities in the San Fernando Valley, most of which are on significant transit lines.
“These facilities serve the senior population, who are not all able to drive themselves, so they rely on public transit,” Parker Brown co-founder John Parker said.
Parker Brown is also completing work on a major shopping center renovation in the Valley at Victory Plaza Shopping Center.
“This is one of those centers where you can one-stop shop for all of your basic needs,” Parker Brown co-founder Scott Brown said.
Placing these facilities within walking distance to transit would improve accessibility for elderly residents. Exer More Than Urgent Care is an 11-minute bus ride and a 24-minute walk from the Douglas Metro station. At the Culver City stop, along the Expo Line, Culver City Urgent Care is just a 14-minute walk.
Improved rail and bus routes have not yet put an end to Los Angeles’ infamous car culture. Despite increased ridership along the Expo Line, systemwide Metro boardings declined by 17% in 2017 while car ownership grew by 2.1 million household vehicles from 2000 to 2015.
Appealing to the needs of retiring baby boomers could help break the streak of declining ridership. Accessible development remains top of mind for Parker Brown.
“Although we are not working on transit projects per se, we are doing a lot of work with transit-central points in mind," Parker said. "LA traffic is only likely to get worse and we want to help people be efficient with their travel.”
To learn more about this Bisnow content partner, click here.