Developers Assist Hospitals With Parking Structure Design And Financing
(As Seen in Parking Today, February 2000)
Healthcare’s increasing emphasis on outpatient services from inpatient care is causing unanticipated parking demands at many older hospitals. Such ambulatory care services increase the need for parking space at many land-lacking facilities, forcing the need for parking structures.
While solutions to parking problems may seem expensive, considering off-balance sheet financing alternatives and innovative development strategies can bring a new structure within the grasp of cash-strapped healthcare providers.
Many hospitals are taking advantage of this option and have contracted with companies like Pacific Medical Buildings, whose development plans have made some healthcare providers’ parking problems virtually disappear. The San Diego based company has provided developer-owned medical facilities, including office buildings, outpatient centers and parking facilities. The program allows the addition of new parking structures without risking scarce capital. They design, finance and develop the structure and continue the management after construction is completed.
One such project was the St. Francis Medical·Center in Hawaii. The hospital was assisted in a number of ways during construction.
Meeting Parking Needs During Construction: In addition to adding a new parking structure at the St. Francis Medical Center, Pacific was simultaneously building a medical office building (MOB) on the campus. The new MOB would be built where an existing parking structure was located, requiring the demolition of the parking structure. St. Francis could not go without parking for the year it would take to build the new MOB and parking structure, nor could they delay construction of the MOB to complete the new parking facility before tearing down the old one. Pacific’s solution was to divide the construction on the new parking structure in half. The construction of the first half took only five months. When it was completed, the old structure was demolished and simultaneous construction on the second half of the parking structure and the MOB began, saving time while meeting parking needs.
Financing: Pacific managed the financing of the new parking structure at St. Francis. The hospital was not required to sign a master lease or make any investment towards the new parking structure. The new MOB was financed with a taxable bond issue and through creative financing Pacific was able to get the parking structure on that same bond. By selling a bigger bond ($25 million), the hospital was saved considerable money. Upon completion of the facility, St. Francis purchased the parking structure from Pacific. Pacific continues managing the MOB and other buildings on the St. Francis campus today.
Neighbors: St. Francis Medical Center is located in a residential neighborhood. Homes are very close to where the new parking structure was being built. The process began by meeting with neighbors to discuss what Pacific could do to make the presence of a large parking structure so close to their homes more bearable. As a result, the design was reworked and they pushed it one level into the ground, decreasing the height of the building. Vines were trellised up the side of one wall and planters were installed to hold colorful flowers and plants.
Lighting: With the close proximity of residential homes, the lighting of the parking structure had to be carefully designed. Lights were shielded so they would not shine into homes. On the top floor, 90 degree cutoffs were installed so the light did not spill outside of the designated area.
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