Vivacity Medical District Featured in Site Selection Magazine

February 01, 2017

Article by Site Selection:

Houston Health District in the Works
The Signorelli Company has issued an RFP to more than 50 academic and health systems for proposals on creating what the company is calling the "next-generation, whole-life Healthcare/Life Science Continuum" in a 190-acre health district referred to conceptually as "Vivacity" in the northeast Houston area of Valley Ranch, part of a larger 1,400-acre area being developed under a master plan.

"There are a number of dense healthcare and/or life science centers around the country, but we are not aware of a development solely dedicated to addressing healthcare from an active life to post-recovery," says Tom Wittenberg, executive vice president of Signorelli's healthcare division, in an email. Wittenberg has more than 20 years of development and operational experience in healthcare, life science, institutional and commercial mixed-use assets.

Vivacity Medical District at Valley Ranch

"The development is pedestrian-friendly and centered on incorporating preventive wellness through all aspects of our lives," he says. "Overlaying that focus with all of the technological advancements in genetics, robotics, IT and bioscience in one place will make a unique model that hopefully is what the new Healthcare Continuum can look like in the future."

The market for the development is growing, with annual population growth of over 10 percent, average household income of $90,000-plus and 130,000 daily traffic counts due to surrounding the intersection of I-69 & Grand Parkway in Porter, Texas. Those counts will grow when the final leg of the Grand Parkway is completed, linking to the Port of Houston. The infrastructure progress is one reason ExxonMobil moved its global headquarters to a location just down the road near The Woodlands, and HP recently relocated nearby too.

Vivacity Medical District at Valley Ranch

The full RFP explains that Vivacity " is about bringing the caregivers to the community in an active, lively, preventative healthcare manner ... Vivacity will make the concept of isolated health campuses with limited amenities and confusing wayfinding to patients a relic of the past. Advances in technology have already changed aspects of the current system, but substantial health outcomes and economic benefits are out of reach due to organizational inflexibility, outdated competitive practices and governmental/insurance coverage related reimbursement. Vivacity is a unique clean-slate opportunity to bring all stakeholders to the table with no preconceived notions as to the structure, make-up, or configuration to create a Whole Life Healthcare Continuum that works for the individual."

Signorelli engaged Stroudwater & Associates to perform a health demand study, and from those results (to be shared in confidentiality with RFP respondents) confirmed current and projected needs. In addition, says the RFP, "we have had tremendous interest from a variety of physician groups, health systems and life science companies in new, expansion and relocated operations."

The Valley Ranch service area has an estimated inpatient volume of over 45,100 discharges, with inpatient volume expected to increase by 3.3 percent in the next five years. Outpatient volumes for all sites of service, currently at over 11.53 million procedures per year, are expected to increase at a much faster rate than inpatient, with projections of 17-percent growth. And hospital-based volumes are projected to grow at 18 percent. Current-year hospital-based procedures in the service area are estimated at over 2.36 million.

Signorelli is pursuing development of an acute-care facility; academic research and education facility; 300,000 sq. ft. of medical office space; a life science and technology incubator; senior living and post-acute facilities; and other facilities that might include hospitality, IT/robotics and logistics centers.

"Complementary to the research being promoted through the academic and healthcare community, on-going discussions with Fortune 500 companies wanting to locate life science, medical device, engineering and health-related IP startups into low-cost research space has been initialized," says the RFP. "Surprisingly, their interest was in being located outside of the Texas Medical Center [in downtown Houston] due to high rent, lost productivity due to traffic congestion, lack of collaboration with resident institutions and the cumbersome manner in which IP is put into commercialized products. Several companies in the pre-commercialization stage have expressed interest in partnering if the right partner institutions are present. Because of the unique location with easy access into the airport, reduced overhead costs and clean-slate opportunity, we are pursuing Life Science Respondents in the Phase Two RFP process for Biomedical, Medical Device, Bio-Agriculture, Genomics, Health IT, Micro Engineering, etc."

That second phase is not anticipated to start until later this coming spring. The RFP response data is February 20, 2017.

Full Article here.

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