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Healthcare Buildings

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Hospitals and doctors' buildings don't get a lot of play, but they are really substantial parts of the real estate market. I pass by Pill Hill on the way to work, and it seems like there are always construction cranes in the air.

In downtown, there have been major additions and renovations at Crawford Long and at Grady. Morehouse has had a significant impact at the AUC campus and at Georgia Baptist. And of course there are massive developments by Emory and the CDC, both at the Emory campus and in Chamblee.

How do y'all see as the impact of health care as a force in the real estate market, and where do you believe its focal points will be?

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I have a love/hate relationship with healthcare facilities.

The most obvious positive is that if you get sick or injured, it's good to have such facilities around. It's also good that they serve as employment centers.

But in general, they have horrible urban qualities. Because of their mission, they're usually able to get around just about any zoning rule they want. Hospitals are the worst about this. Take a walk around Crawford Long. The whole area is deadend by parking lots and decks that have no respect for pedestrians. Most of the buildings present blank walls to the street... even ones that use to have retail space before they became part of the hospital complex now sport windows that have been blacked out. There tends to be huge set backs and fences. Their parking lots spread over the whole area. You could rename this part of SoNo to You,No!

I think they could do better but aren't called upon to do so. It's not just Crawford Long, most hospitals are like this. Why would they change when they aren't expected to?

However, if I get hit by a car or come down with pneumonia, I'll be more concerned about getting treatment than how well the parking decks address the street.

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