It’s tough out there for retailers—which means it’s at least as tough for the building managers and owners that do business with them. While urgent care centers used to be considered a “bad fit” (along with all medical facilities), they’re now becoming the darlings of retail space developers. National UC Realty puts the number of active urgent care locations at 9,600 and climbing, making the industry a presence that cannot be ignored on the real estate front.
Connecticut’s Hartford HealthCare is a prime example, as it has spent millions to relocate most of its urgent care facilities from typical physician offices to retail sites. And Morningstar Credit Ratings counts urgent care centers as one of the top five tenants in real estate, currently. Industry insiders say the growing comfort in seeing urgent care centers in retail locations may be due to some of the same factors that are fueling ongoing growth in urgent care—namely, the preferences and comfort levels of Baby Boomers and Millennials. This is all good news for urgent care operators, of course, as increasing availability of space gives them a better bargaining position for negotiating lease terms.