In the Know: Interface Healthcare Real Estate Conference Southeast

Mike Conn, CEO and Michael Arvin, Managing Director, Strategy & Development attended the 12th annual Interface Healthcare Southeast Real Estate Conference in Nashville, TN on November 6-7.

There is always great anticipation when attending the Interface Healthcare Real Estate Conference in Nashville. Primarily because it’s the major corporate center for the nation’s largest concentration of hospitals and healthcare companies. The number of hospital companies, private equity, investment banks, real estate investment firms, consulting and advisory firms, construction firms, design and architecture and law firms that work in the healthcare sector is impressive. With that amount of healthcare intelligence, the conference consistently provides a road map and early predictor for the direction of healthcare focused capital and investment. This year was no different. The other attraction for the conference is Nashville itself.  With a business-friendly climate that adds to the rich history of country music and the sound of bands playing along colorful Broadway at night is magical. Add in attending a high intensity MLS soccer playoff match with clients and the experience can’t be beat.

The conference started Monday evening with a keynote address to discuss the state of the healthcare markets heading into 2024. The panel addressed the continued pressure that higher interest rates have on the capital markets. The number of transactions around acquisitions will be at a slower pace than in previous years. There was discussion on the recent news of two of the largest healthcare focused REIT’s announcing merger plans – Healthpeak Properties and Physicians Realty Trust will combine in an all-stock merger. The deal is worth about $2.6 billion, and the combined company could be valued around $21 billion. This merger signifies how the healthcare real estate markets are responding to the higher interest rate environment and the ongoing demand for medical office and outpatient ambulatory assets.  According to the panel, it also sends a message to the markets that healthcare real estate, as an asset class, is driven by solid fundamentals and provides stability to investors looking for future growth.

The following day provided several panels that discussed development opportunities and ongoing challenges. Panels also covered leasing strategies and the impact on healthcare tenants with increased costs. With Nashville being the home to many healthcare companies, there is always an interest in hearing plans from HCA. Todd Maxwell, AVP for Real Estate at HCA, provided an overview of where the company looks for continued growth.  He shared that within their markets they have a goal to add more access points to support and deliver care to patients where they are. Although they may be the largest hospital company in the country, they are committing capital to support outpatient care. Specifically, HCA is investing in more urgent care sites with CareNow, strategically located FSED’s, surgery center development and off campus outpatient medical office and wellness centers. Meridian is proud to be a preferred developer for HCA and has supported developments for the urgent care model in markets across the country.

Meridian is well positioned to support our healthcare clients around that specific strategy and helping them achieve that is our goal. Another well attended conference and we are thankful to our clients and strategic partners in attendance that were able to celebrate our successes, make new friends and bond over shared experiences to deliver best in class medical properties.

Author: Michael Arvin