Center Focuses On Women

June 6, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Women’s Health Center is likely to be the second building to go up in the new Mid Towne Village development on Michigan Street Hill.

The 75,000-square-foot, three-story medical office building will house a team of Grand Rapids obstetricians and gynecologists and offer leasing opportunities to physicians in similar women-focused practices. The facility will be built atop a two-and-one-half-story parking ramp with 375 spaces.

In addition to other obstetrical and gynecological practices, the investor group hopes to attract tenants in cosmetic surgery, reproductive medicine, physical therapy and urology and is interested in including exercise facilities and professional counseling in the mix.

The group is comprised of Adam Blickley, M.D., of Newton, Frank & Blickley M.D. PC; Rodman Taber, M.D., of Knollcrest OB-Gyn Associates PC; Douglas VanDrie, M.D., of Grand Valley Gynecology PC; and Douglas Daly, M.D., of Grand Rapids Fertility and IVF PC.

“The members of those four practices and other interested physicians will collectively be the owners of the building,” said Phil Stoffan, counsel for the West Michigan Women’s Health Center Properties LLC investor group. “I don’t have the total number of investors because there are still opportunities to buy in. The group is interested in talking with other physician-investors.”

Stoffan, a partner in Parmenter O’Toole PLC, declined to reveal the amount the group has offered for the property.

Mid Towne Village covers a six-acre parcel bounded by Michigan Street, I-196, Paris Avenue and Union Street. The development will feature 182,000 square feet of retail, office, medical office and residential space across five buildings, as well as 15,000 square feet of open space for summer concerts and other activities.

The Mid Towne project will start with Building D, a 25,000-square-foot, three-story building that will offer a mix of retail, office residential and “live-work” space. Building D will be located at the corner of Michigan Street and Paris.

If everything goes as planned, the Women’s Health Center could break ground in about three months on the northeast side of the Mid Towne site, closest to the I-196 expressway.

“We hope to close on the property in 90 days or so and would like to begin construction the day after we close,” Stoffan said. He said the project still needs approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission.

“We want to make sure that what we are planning is compatible with the vision that the neighbors have for the property. We will be showing the neighborhood association our plans as they continue to be developed.”

Blickley said the group of physicians looked at a number of locations and felt that the Mid Towne site offered “the best combination” of proximity to Spectrum Health’s Butterworth campus and convenient expressway access for the group’s existing patients. On top of that, the location offers some opportunity to create synergies between medical and other health-care services focusing on women’s needs, he said.

“We believe that by bringing together other medical practices and retail services which primarily serve women, we can make it easier for our patients to obtain coordinated and efficient care, as well as provide resources that minimize their need to travel to and from a number of locations for care and service,” Blickley stated.

He credited the Physicians’ Organization of Western Michigan (POWM) for its support of and assistance with the West Michigan Women’s Health Center project.

“The physicians have been saying for some time that we need to think about opportunities to work more closely together.”

Stoffan said the group is working on the space planning for the center. He said about 20,000 square feet of space or less will be reserved for the practices of the four physicians. So 55,000 square feet will be available in the building, but much of it has been spoken for either formally or informally, he said. Tim Kwekel of Kwekel Companies is the broker handling the space planning needs.

“Judging from the interest that has been shared with us by physicians who only saw the news, we believe we may have underestimated the demand,” Stoffan said. “The location is good and these physicians are closely affiliated with Spectrum Health.”

He said the doctors were very excited when they realized the space was available and would fit within the planned redevelopment district constraints the Grand Rapids Planning Commission put in place.

“The ideal tenant in the building would be a physician or retail service or vendor that is aimed at meeting the needs of women,” he said. “We are at the stage of negotiating letters of intent of either lease or purchase terms.”

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