Posted August 24, 2016
New healthcare facility provides one-stop outpatient care to underserved mountain community via unique collaboration between developer, town government, fire district and landowner.
When NexCore Group broke ground on the new three-story, 48,400 square foot Buck Creek Medical Plaza in Avon more than a year ago, it realized a long-standing but rather elusive goal of building a new healthcare facility that uses 21st century delivery models to provide consolidated outpatient and emergency care in a highly convenient location in the Vail Valley.
At the Aug. 4 grand opening celebration, a proud group of community leaders and healthcare providers joined NexCore in honoring the tenacity that went into the much-needed project that opened less than a year after breaking ground.
“I can’t tell you how proud we all are that NexCore was able to pull this off and we have this new medical office building in our town,” Avon Mayor Jennie Fancher said during the grand opening celebration. “This building came together and was constructed in virtually a year. To me that’s remarkable.”
With anchor tenants Centura Health and Colorado Mountain Medical, and other specialties such as physical therapy, dental and allergy, top-quality healthcare is being delivered to a Colorado mountain community that has been especially challenged by the changes in medical care during the past few years.
Buck Creek Medical Plaza’s centralized location with great visibility, beautiful views, access from U.S. Interstate 70 and free parking provides the kind of care the Vail Valley community demanded and deserved, while further establishing the area as a top-notch resort and residential community with quality healthcare, physicians and diversified jobs.
Town Manager Virginia Egger echoed the sentiment of the importance and challenge of bringing excellent healthcare to a diverse mountain community. “Buck Creek Medical Plaza in Avon brings one of the most important ingredients needed to have a strong community. This is truly a spectacular addition to the region and to Avon.”
Brooks Bock, M.D., CEO of anchor tenant Colorado Mountain Medical, a multispecialty physician group that has been in Eagle County for 35 years, expressed his gratitude for the collaboration that went into the project.
Noting that “healthcare is a very important part of what people use to make decisions about where they’re going to live and recreate,” Dr. Brooks said it was “wonderful” to be a part of a project “that brings together such a diverse group of healthcare provisions in a single building with the convenience of parking, which as many of you know is a prime consideration when you’re looking at any project in Eagle County.”
“We have taken a long time looking at the needs of all the communities that we serve and the significant cost pressures of healthcare in mountain communities,” added Jeff Brickman, President, Mountains North Operating Group for Centura Health, the co-anchor at the facility.
‘We’re very excited to be a part of this community. We’re excited to provide choice. We’re very excited to develop healthcare in a way that will sustain health and wellness,” he said.
The story behind the facility is one of synchronicity, collaboration and fate, with a dose of “luck and pluck” as Ms. Eggers put it.
NexCore’s Managing Principal Todd Varney spent six months trying to find land, but was unable to find anything suitable in the area. Ideally, NexCore wanted the facility to be in Avon, as it is in the center of the Vail Valley, bordered by East Vail and Eagle, and is the home of the tony Beaver Creek ski resort.
Mr. Varney finally found a 2.15-acre piece of land called Buck Creek Lot 1A that was bought by the Eagle River Fire Protection District at the top of the market in 2007 for $3.6 million. The parcel was perfect for NexCore’s needs. But when Mr. Varney tried to buy it from the Fire District, the answer was no, as it was not for sale.
Mr. Varney then went to the Town of Avon and Ms. Egger. She was aware of and had the first rights to buy a two-acre lot adjacent to the Fire District land, known as Lot 1B. New York financier and Vail resident Oscar Tang, an individual highly committed to the Vail Valley, owned that lot.
Mr. Tang entered into a covenant and reverter clause arrangement with NexCore, who purchased Lot 1B for $1.6 million. As NexCore began the design process on the medical facility, it concurrently helped the Fire District determine the best ways to build on Lot 1A, so there would be a synergy between the two lots. In the process they determined they were better off swapping parcels. NexCore agreed to buy the Fire Division piece for $3.6 million, the same price paid in 2007 at the top of the market.
From there, things went into high gear, as NexCore wanted to break ground on the facility in 2015. The Town of Avon participated with the Fire District on a bridge loan. The planning department took the challenge and set its conditions and deadlines. NexCore took on the majority of the risk in order to meet the timing on the back end for its clients, including $800,000 in initial design costs before entitlements were completed. NexCore and the Fire Division met all the deadlines and the Town of Avon was able to help NexCore fast track entitlements.
In the end, the project was a great success for everyone involved. NexCore ended up with the lot it wanted in the first place, with the best frontage, views and access for its healthcare clients. The Fire Division ended up with a site that works better for it, realizing a beneficial $2 million gain to help accelerate its own development. The town of Avon got one more asset to attract and retain visitors and quality jobs in its beautiful resort community. The philanthropic Tang Family sold its land to a great cause. And the community of Vail Valley got a world-class outpatient medical facility.
“There are no truly comparable medical buildings in Avon or the surrounding communities that will be able to offer the image, referral base and patient convenience of Buck Creek Medical Plaza,” said Mr. Varney. “Properties housing physician tenants are mixed use, office buildings or retail projects with poor access, visibility and some are quite difficult to navigate. With the lack of adequate resources to identify quality physicians, patients often attribute quality of the location to the quality of practice. Buck Creek Medical Plaza will provide the image quality to give physicians a leg up against the competition.”
The facility is 95 percent leased. For leasing information, please contact Stacey Hall at 970-688-4630.
For a link to video of the Aug. 4 grand opening ceremony, please see: http://goo.gl/0b17O2.