As we’ve told you previously, visionary urgent care operators are finding golden opportunities in empty spaces that in years past would not have been considered prime locations for healthcare facilities (banks, restaurants…). Now it looks like there could be similar opportunity in retail space being vacated in larger shopping centers and malls. An article in Business Insider suggests that big retail spaces, already finding it harder to fill vacancies with traditional shopping outlets, will have to find ways to “fulfill other community needs besides commerce” (with healthcare needs being among them). It’s already begun, in fact; the number of walk-in clinics in malls rose 15% between 2011 and 2016. And Bloomberg reported that one third of all urgent care locations are now located in shopping centers. Even large-scale systems like Vanderbilt University Medical Center is getting into the act, having leased over half of an 850,000-square-foot building whose other half is still occupied by retailers. On your next shopping venture, keep an eye out for store-closing sales and “space available” signs and consider whether the location could fit your needs for future expansion.
Will Urgent Care Centers Benefit from Transformation of Big Retail Spaces?