Posted on 27 June 2012 by Keith Lacey
If everything continues to fall into place, construction on the Horizon Health and Wellness Centre is scheduled to begin as soon as the frost lifts next spring, says Eugen Klein, head of the marketing team with The Klein Group, which has been hired to lease out space in the proposed six-floor, 40,000-square-foot medical centre.
“We would like to start construction first thing next spring … that remains our goal, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Klein in a phone interview from his Vancouver office last week.
The Horizon Health and Wellness Centre will consist of both retail and office space for medical practitioners and professionals.
Construction was scheduled to start this past spring, but a “key tenant we thought we had locked up had a change of heart and decided to go in another direction and that set us back four-to-six months,” said Klein.
His company’s duty and responsibility is to find the right mix of retailers offering a wide variety of products and services in the healthcare field and to have them commit to the long-term viability of this centre and this takes time, said Klein.
“It’s crucial that we find the right mix,” he said. “The main goal is to maximize the service we’re offering to the people of Osoyoos.We want businesses that are committed for the long-term and won’t be looking elsewhere at the end of their first lease term.
“We want long-term businesses that will thrive … we want to get it right the first time, so that’s why we’ve been so patient in looking for the right mix.”
As an example, his business wants to attract a retailer that sells quality “medical hardware” like walkers, wheelchairs and canes , but is willing to do so offering reasonable prices in a retail outlet with limited square footage, said Klein.
The health and wellness centre will hopefully attract not only medical physicians to lease space, but also physiotherapists, psychologists and natural health practitioners, said Klein.
“We want the centre to be robust and offer as wide a variety of health services as we possibly can,” he said.
Numerous business owners who have made inquiries about leasing space in the health and wellness centre have been turned down because they could not prove they were viable, long-term businesses or provide satisfactory information to suggest the financial numbers they presented were viable, said Klein.
Over the next three or four months, Klein said his goal is to sign long-term lease agreements with four-to-six major medical retailers.
If the deals are finalized, this will ensure 40 per cent occupancy, which is the minimum amount the project developer, Oasis GP Ltd. of Vancouver, wants in place before construction begins, said Klein.
“We’re very close to finalizing deals that would bring us very close to the 40 per cent occupancy we need to guarantee the project will move forward,” said Klein.”We will be working very hard in these next few months to close the deals with four to six key tenants … once that’s done, we will be making a formal announcement to finalize construction plans.
“As I said, the goal remains to begin construction next spring and we’re confident we will attain that goal.”
Plans include having two floors of retail space and four floors of space open to medical professionals, said Klein.
The concept and design for the Horizon Health and Wellness centre was devised taking the best ideas observed from other centres across the South Okanagan and other models in the United States and Europe, said Klein.
The centre will be built on 91 Avenue across the street from McDonald’s Restaurant.