Medical office buildings (MOBs) have proven to be a resilient asset class, especially throughout COVID-19. This is because most of these users require in-person treatment, providing a stable user base for the asset class. But they’re a little more complicated to build and operate than traditional office space, causing an undersupply in many markets across the U.S.—excluding Chicago.
In fact, Chicago ranked the fourth-largest medical office market in the country, according to 42Floors’ Medical Office Building Decade Report. Using information provided by CRE research and listing platform CommercialEdge, 42Floors analyzed U.S. MOB construction activity between 2012 and 2021.
Boasting an inventory of over 400 MOBs, totaling nearly 30 million square feet, Chicago grew 18% during the decade (4.3 million square feet since 2012) and is only expected to grow.
42Floors has predicted that the next few years will see three large deliveries across three markets in the Midwest: Chicago, Madison, Wisc.; and Milwaukee. These buildings will collectively add about 1.5 million square feet of MOB space to the region.
Texas is also a state to watch. Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 2 and No. 3 on 42Floors’ list, respectively. Houston added 4.3 million square feet of space during the decade, growing 15% to its current total of 33.2 million square feet. And DFW saw similar growth, adding 4.6 million square feet and growing 16% since 2012 to its now 33-million-square-foot footprint, based on the report.
The current market is strong across the U.S, and healthcare rents continue to grow while companies work on the issue of undersupply. Healthcare is a continually evolving industry, and businesses must be willing to adapt in accordance with current trends and patient needs. For example, OHM Advisors Principal and Partner Jennifer Carney said, following the pandemic, there’s been a demand for telehealth rooms, where the doctor can virtually visit with a patient in the privacy of their home.
“Physicians can use their exam and patient rooms for virtual appointments,” she said, “but we’re seeing planning spaces for telehealth that are smaller in size and scope.”