For these primary care facilities, spaces that were previously designed for retail fit many of Oak Street Health’s parameters. With ample parking and easily accessible by car, along with large footprints that were able to accommodate the square footage needs of the owner, retail locations were uniquely suited for this type of conversion. Even pre-pandemic many storefronts had closed due to the competition from online sales and a larger shift to ecommerce, a trend that only accelerated with the variety of restrictions put in place throughout 2020 and 2021. As the needs of the US consumer base change and an aging population continues to need increased amounts of care, Oak Street Health identified an opportunity to expand into Louisiana, starting with the greater New Orleans region.
When assessing whether a retail space would be feasible for conversion into a medical facility, an RGGC estimator joined Oak Street Health’s real estate team as they visited various sites, leading to the removal of a few locations from consideration based on a variety of factors. The involvement of our team through preconstruction allowed for the lease negotiations to occur with the best chance for overall project success. Five locations were selected in the Gentilly Plaza, Towne Square, Delmont Village, University Retail and Airline Park shopping centers.