Medical facilities gaining ground in Kyle
Kyle’s health-care boom will be in full evidence over the next few weeks as the first tenants begin to move into the recently completed, three-story Kyle Medical Plaza 1.
Primary-care physicians, podiatrists and physical therapists are among the practitioners relocating to the 42,000-square-feet office building near Seton Medical Center Hays. An outpatient surgery center has also announced it will be moving into the building in the fall – a far cry from a time not too long ago when Kyle residents had to drive to San Marcos or Austin for specialized care.
What’s more, developer Kerry Angus said his company, Onair Development, has already begun to accept reservations for its next large medical office project to be constructed next door to the first development.
With construction set to begin in late summer or early fall, the second building will be two stories high and about 25,000 square feet. Construction should take about 12 months, Angus said.
“Kyle’s a great market,” he said. “It’s growing. It’s got an unmet need, and we’ve got a fantastic group of practices that we’ve assumed will add a lot to the medical offerings in Hays County.”
Since 2009, around 680,000 square feet of new medical facilities have opened, broken ground or been announced in the growing suburb of Kyle, according to Kyle Economic Development Director Diana Blank. Over that same time span, the sector has created more than 1,600 direct medical jobs, not including physicians, said Blank, who credits the addition of Seton Medical Center Hays with jumpstarting the market growth in Kyle.
“It was just an all-of-a-sudden thing,” she said. “It took Seton announcing for everyone to realize there’s a huge under served market down here for every medical need under the sun.”
The city has been targeting the health-care services sector since it was identified in an economic-development strategic plan adopted in 2008, Blank said. She added she hopes the growth will expand into other aspects of the medical industry, from research and development firms to smaller pharmaceutical distributors or manufacturers, providing jobs for people with a range of education levels.
“What we found through the (recent economic) downturn, everyone still needs medical care,” she said. “That doesn’t go away, so it becomes one of those sustainable industries. People may take a little longer to make that doctor’s appointment, but it’s not going to go away.”
A health care-related call center is looking at Kyle, Blank said, and Seton has announced that its Hays campus will become an education hospital. The opening of Austin Community College’s Hays campus will also offer certifications for first-responders, medical billing and others that could boost the Kyle labor pool, she said.
At the Kyle Medical Plaza, the first building was fully leased before the project broke ground in May 2011, said Angus, who is Onair’s founder, president and CEO.
“This next one will go up quicker because there’s not as much site work,” Angus said, adding that once the project is completed he’ll assess whether to build a third medical development at a new location in town.
Onair provides tenants with ownership in each building, which Angus said gives his company an advantage over other developers.
“We lease a lot more quickly and tend to have practices that are more entrepreneurial as our clients,” he said. “And by assembling complementary practices in one building, we enhance patient care, and the practices do better in a multi-tenant building than they do sitting out by themselves in a strip mall.”