Real estate development in Phoenix and the surrounding areas has always been trend setting and market changing. When newly developed, outlying residential areas boomed, what lacked in these areas was retail, medical and industrial commercial. Over the past five years, the commercial sector has been heavily overbuilt and is now undergoing a zoning face lift.

With the changing landscape of the many different medical sectors brought on by health care reform, the way physicians are doing business has changed dramatically.  While working with different medical professionals through the years, the changes I’ve seen have been dramatic and impressive regarding the way they develop business relationships and partner with other physicians and medical professionals to take advantage of the forthcoming health care changes, minimize their overhead and create a better, more convenient experience for their patients.

Over the years, is has not been uncommon to travel across the country to different cities for different care specialties, such as cancer treatments, diabetes centers, eye disorders centers, etc. Now physicians are coming together and combining mixed use medical with hospitals or medical specialty as the anchor; they then add retail, office and even hospitality so that medical stops can now be a one-stop shopping experience. It’s like going to the mall and getting medical treatment or checkups while you are there!

Several of these mixed use complexes are sprouting up all over the Phoenix area in cities such as Maricopa, Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Goodyear, Scottsdale and Surprise. These areas render great income-generating investments for investors that like the medical sector.

Here are a few tips for you to consider when looking to purchase commercial property for this type of mixed use:

1. Always use a commercial broker familiar with this type of project and the medical industry: Ask the broker you are looking to work with what their experience is in dealing with mixed use, more specifically specialized medical. Check out a few projects that they have worked on or helped coordinate for other investors in this area. A portfolio check is always a great way to make a decision regarding which broker has the strongest mixed use experience and the most knowledge to help you get the most out of your mixed use investment.

2. Rely on the broker’s knowledge of local demographics or the ability of being able to obtain the demographics: Get reporting from your local small business development organizations on not only the demographics but the communities spending habits as well. This will help you when determining what type of retail or hospitality space to put in the area you are looking to invest in.

3. Get a medical professionals list and reach out: To better position your investment and make it more attractive to potential tenants, you can have your broker obtain a list of medical professionals via your local chamber, hospital directory or even local insurance directory logs. Have this list ready to send out an email or direct piece with the benefits of medical mixed use to entice them into moving over to your commercial property. Mixed use is a great incentive for physicians to make an office move. They increase their profitability with this approach as well. It is a win-win situation for the physician, medical practice, investor and the patient or visitor to the complex.

[stextbox id=”grey”]These tips are provided by Pete Baldwin, Designated Broker and Owner of Platinum Realty Network with offices in Scottsdale and Flagstaff, Ariz. With over 25 years of experience in business and real estate, Pete specializes in country club communities and second home investments, including large commercial portfolios. He also owns an Arizona branch of a family-owned, Montana-based company Baldwin Log Homes – Arizona Territory and has become the area leader in full- custom, handcrafted log homes in Northern Arizona. For more information, please visit