Sansone Group launches medical division with new executive hire
August 06, 2020

By Steph Kukuljan – Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal

Sansone Group has launched a new medical facilities development and acquisition division in a move that will expand its pipeline and geographic reach.

The Clayton-based commercial real estate firm hired Greg Thompson as executive director of the division where he’ll lead business development. Thompson, who will work from Paducah, Kentucky, is a longtime health care administrator. He most recently served as CEO of Southern Orthopedic Associates, an orthopedic practice, clinic and surgery center with locations across Southern Illinois and Kentucky.

It’s the latest expansion for Sansone Group. Last year, it hired Jeff Greenwalt to lead industrial development to expand opportunities in such areas as Indianapolis; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; New Jersey; South Florida; and Savannah, Georgia.

With Thompson, Sansone Group aims to develop a range of medical facilities, such as speciality centers, sports clinics and other assets, primarily outside the St. Louis market. Principal Doug Sansone said his firm wants to replicate what they’ve done in St. Louis with SSM Health — such as developing its SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital pediatric specialty health care center in Ferguson — with Thompson’s connections in other markets.

“We’re seeing challenging times with Covid-19. We see this as an opportunity to partner and collaborate with (health care organizations), and engage with them on strategy and drill down on the best way to handle their real estate,” Thompson said.

Nationwide, medical space real estate had a 8.3% vacancy rate in 2019, a near-record low that outpaced the national average for office space of 12.9%. Lease rates at medical buildings also showed promising signs for landlords, as average asking rents were over $23 per square foot — about 13.5% higher in late 2019 compared with 2013, according to Cushman & Wakefield research.

Thompson also points to changes within the payment model of the health care industry from being a fee for service, more volume model to a risk-based model where compensation is based on how a patient recovers.

“That will shrink how you’re going to earn money,” Thompson said.

And that’s where Sansone Group sees an opportunity — by helping health care organizations redeploy capital from real estate to other areas of the business.

The firm currently has no active projects; Thompson’s first day was Aug. 1. But he said he intends to spend his first few days with Sansone Group learning more about its relationship with SSM, its strategy and how to replicate that going forward.

Health care groups “have to figure out a way to continue moving forward and maintaining care and hopefully we can be part of their process,” he said.

Link to the Original Article Here

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