Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mitchell Rechler, managing partner, and Ellen Cea, director of business development, of Rechler Equity Partners. They’re very excited about what’s happening at the Hampton Business District at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. The Hampton Business District is nearing construction phase with 440,000 square feet and nine buildings, including a hotel and daycare center.
What kind of tenants are you in discussions with?
Mitchell Rechler: What excites us is the interest expressed from various sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing and recreation. Times are changing and we will be designing a project to meet the changing needs of a progressive innovative economy. Available space will start at 1,333 square feet.
What sector has generated the most interest?
Ellen Cea: We are currently in negotiations across the board with manufacturing companies, R&D, warehousing, office space and medical. There’s a growing focus on healthcare, along with trying to meet the needs of an aging population, so we have received a great deal of interest for medical space.
Rechler: With the expected expansion of the U.S. healthcare industry over the next several years and the way medical services will be delivered, I think there will be an incredibly strong need for modern doctors’ offices, diagnostic centers, medical group space, medical billing, urgent care, ambulatory surgery outpatient facilities, pharmaceutical distribution and R&D space nationwide.
Cea: We’ve seen estimates of millions of new jobs being created over the next five to 10 years to fulfill the growing needs of the healthcare industry to handle the needs of a vast number of people added to the ranks of the insured who previously relied on hospital emergency rooms for treatment.
How are the needs of healthcare institutions and practitioners changing?
Rechler: We are hearing more often that hospital groups are acquiring physicians’ private practices. These integrated health systems promote physician collaboration and help reduce duplication of diagnostic tests. Doctors are provided with more resources such as electronic medical records (EMR), while less time is being spent on billing and insurance issues. This means that doctors are freed up to spend more time practicing medicine, while also maintaining a better quality of life.
How have the needs of healthcare tenants changed?
Cea: According to Woods & Poole 2013 State Profile of NY & NJ, Nielsen 2013, those aged 65 and over made up just 9% of Suffolk’s population in 1980. Today that number has grown to 31.5%. Older hospital sites are no longer convenient or efficient for Long Island patients who prefer a centralized location offering close proximity to a variety of specialists, diagnostic testing, treatment and same-day surgical procedures.
How has Rechler Equity Partners adjusted to the changing needs of healthcare tenants?
Rechler: Hospitals are acquiring medical practices in order to expand, and doctors are realizing the advantages of working within a hospital network. Both are looking for new facilities due to population growth and redistribution, urban sprawl, an aging patient base and the need to incorporate the latest in diagnostic and ambulatory surgery equipment in locations in closer proximity to their customer base.
What else is Rechler Equity Partners working on?
Rechler: Rechler Equity Partners has grown along with Long Island for the past 55 years, with a current portfolio of over 7 million square feet, encompassing over 100 properties. The company currently has more than 3.5 million square feet in the development pipeline, which includes the Hampton Business District at Gabreski Airport, one of the largest single industrial commercial developments on Long Island. As the Long Island economy continues to evolve, so too has our company, and we look forward to another 55 years of meeting the needs of Long Island residents and businesses.
For more information, visit rechlerequity.com.