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JoeArchitect
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As a principal architect and director of business development for JoeArchitect, I speak with dentists and dental specialist from all over North America on a daily basis.  Many are just beginning the process of identifying their commercial real estate options for their new dental office.  One of the first questions I ask is “do you have someone representing you through this process.”  There are 3 common responses to this question:
Yes, I am working with a commercial broker
Yes, I have an attorney
No, I am representing myself
Lets address each of these responses starting with no. 3.
3. No, I am representing myself
By far, this is the response I least like to hear.  While the doctor is not typically calling me for real estate advice, I cannot resist providing my unsolicited opinion regarding the importance of proper representation when working through the process of locating and negotiating commercial real estate.  My reasons are partly selfish.  On the occasions when I have worked with a doctor who was negotiating their own deal, I have found that the overall process tends to get drawn-out over a longer period of time.  I have also found that, often, important questions don’t get asked and necessary information falls through the cracks.  This makes sense when you think about it.  Landlords are in the business of negotiating leases.  They understand all of the moving parts and how to structure them to their advantage.  This puts the unrepresented doctor at a distinct disadvantage.  How do you know that your getting a fair deal when you don’t have a grasp of the market.  Not to mention the time involved when working through a complicated negotiation.  In 15 years of working with dentists and designing their offices, I can’t tell you how many times a doctor has said to me “the landlord is really nice and he’s going to work with me.”  That may be true.  He or she is probably a real peach who loves puppies and regularly donates to The Little Sisters of the Poor but, at the end of the day, they want you to pay as much for your space as possible.  That is, quite simply, their business.  Some landlord’s will make the argument that, if brokers are involved, the deal gets more expensive for everyone involved.  Hogwash.  Commercial brokers earn their fees by sharing a split-commission with the lessor or seller’s agent.  You pay them nothing directly.  In my opinion, there is no good reason not to have a broker representing your interests, and your interests alone.
2. Yes, I have an attorney
While, you will certainly want your attorney to review a lease before you execute it, they are typically not in the business of negotiating real estate on your behalf.  It is not an either/or proposition.  You will need an attorney and a commercial real estate broker on your team to properly complete this transaction.
1. Yes, I am working with a commercial broker
Good answer!  That’s what I wanted to hear.  My follow-up question is always “Doctor, how did you meet them?”  If their reply is “through the landlord,” that’s a problem.  If you are working with the landlord’s broker then he/she is not your broker.  He/she is the landlord’s broker and they are working both sides of the table.  How can one broker serve both parties at the same time without it being a conflict.  It’s impossible.  That’s where the term ‘tenant representative’ comes in.  A tenant representative is simply a commercial broker who represents only tenants.  I tell all of my dental clients that, when they are searching for a broker to represent them, be sure to focus your search on brokers that specialize in tenant representation.  Tenant representatives are fairly easy to find in larger cities like Denver but may more difficult to find in smaller towns.  If you are not able to find a tenant representative broker in your area, at the very least, make sure that the broker you engage will be representing you, and you alone, in this particular transaction.  It is also important to note that, in some parts of the country, you can find healthcare specific real estate brokers who specialize in representing doctors, dentists, optometrists, veterinarians, etc…  These niche brokers understand the specific needs of medical facilities such as power and mechanical requirements.  If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place where you can work with a broker who specializes in dental, take advantage of it.  It costs you nothing and will almost certainly save you substantial sums of money both initially and over the life of your practice.
The length of a lease negotiation can vary wildly, from a few weeks to many months depending on a number of factors.  You only have so much control of the process.  Don’t make it any more difficult than it needs to be.  Find a broker in your area that is dedicated to looking out for your best interest and trust them to guide you through the process.
Joe Miller, AIA
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Happy Holidays from all of us at JoeArchitect!
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Central Orthodontics is a new 3,500 square foot orthodontic facility located in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland. JoeArchitect worked with Dr. Stephanie Walker on the design of this recently completed 6 chair office. The hexagon shape repeated throughout the clinic is present in the practice logo. Translucent screen walls separate the open bay chairs and provide privacy for patients while still allowing natural light to flood the space. Thank you to Dr. Walker for sharing these images so we can share them with you.
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The construction team is providing the finishing touches at Cabinet d'orthodontie du Dr. Peiretti Paradisi located in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The doctor shared a photo of the reception/waiting area. The desk has a high-gloss lacquered finish and sits on a luxury vinyl plank floor in a herringbone pattern. We will be posting additional views of the office when they become available
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Orthodontic Associates is a 7,900 square foot (740 square meters) orthodontic center currently under construction in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Dr. Christa Oliver and Dr. Lisa McGrath shared some progress photos. The space includes a 110 foot long window wall that accommodates 10 semi-private treatment chairs with sweeping views of St. John’s.  Here is a shot of the treatment bay.  Stay tuned for future updates!
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JoeArchitect is honored to have our work included in the latest edition of “Medical and Dental Space Planning: A Comprehensive Guide to Design, Equipment, and Clinical Procedures.” It is considered by many to be the definitive reference on medical and dental office design. The author, Jain Malkin, has been a leader in the field of evidence-based design for healthcare facilities since the early 1970′s. After discovering there was almost nothing published on the design of healthcare facilities at that time she spent a year in hospitals, medical and dental offices observing patient care, office procedures and flow. After a few years of very circuitous and painstaking study to acquire knowledge about specific medical and dental specialties, she decided to write a comprehensive book on the topic to make it easier for other design professionals. The book has been in print for 30 years and remains the primary book on the topic. Thank you Jain for making JoeArchitect a part of it.
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Jonny and Elliott Brennan are brothers and partners at Brennan Dental (www.brennandentalaz.com). JoeArchitect is thrilled to have been selected to work with Jonny and Elliott on their new general dental office design in Chandler, Arizona. The doctors are "united in their goal to bring every patient the smile they deserve."  We are looking forward to developing a design that reinforces their practice brand and philosophy.  JoeArchitect will be sharing our design progress along the way.
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Coming down to the wire on the construction of Wu Orthodontics (www.wuorthodontics.com) in South Pasadena, CA.  Here are a couple of progress photos.  Joe Miller is excited to be traveling to SoCal on September 8th to meet with Dr. Wu and perform the final inspection.
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2014-08-26
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Williams Family Dentistry is a 3,000 SF, 6 chair general dental office located in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver and designed by JoeArchitect. The project was completed in 2012 but we decided to let the landscaping mature before photographing it. The building features a Cor-ten steel silo entry element that has oxidized quite nicely. Thank you to Dr. Margie Williams for the opportunity to bring her vision to life! Learn more about this project at http://www.joearchitect.com/portfolio_items/williams-family-dentistry/

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Congratulations to Dr. Joe Wilson and his team at Orthodontics, Inc in Flagstaff, AZ!  Construction is wrapping up and feedback from patients and staff is overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Upon taking over the practice from a retiring doctor, the space was transformed from a well worn 1950s vintage office to a new, state of the art facility reflective of the services their patients have come to expect.
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2014-08-05
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