It was built to be a one-stop shop for all things health care.
With four floors and more than 30,000 square feet of office and retail space, chances are the newly opened Sterling Medical Building on 25th Avenue has a remedy for that which ails you.
The building hosts a bevy of medical and para-medical services, including seven GPs, plus internists, OB/GYN, dentists, a medical supply company and Remedy’sRx, a full-service, 4,000-square-foot pharmacy.
Michael Roney, managing broker of MLR Real Estate Services, says the building is already 70 per cent occupied after just four months. He oversees the Sterling ownership group, which is comprised mainly of medical professionals who are also tenants.
“It’s a credit to the physicians who have assisted with introducing me to other physicians, and to the hard work Colliers (leasing agent) has done,” said Roney, noting the project has already attracted a number of out-of-town physicians and other medical professionals.
“If you’ve got a GP of your own, you know he’s probably got a two-year waiting list. As soon as you get out of the Lower Mainland, it’s hard for the average B.C. person to find a physician. And most of the specialists in the Okanagan live in Kelowna.”
Roney helped the group acquire the land and go through the development process, and he is now assisting with marketing and property management until the project gets off the ground.
“We have been really patient in the people we have attracted to it to make it complementary,” said Roney. “It’s a huge benefit for the community.”
Ideally, Roney would like to add an audiology lab and optician to the smorgasbord of medical offerings. He is also looking for other complementary practices such as physiotherapists and chiropractors.
The $3.9 million project broke ground in August 2011, and the building’s design utilizes the natural light and offers plenty of parking, over-sized conduit to house special wiring for medical equipment and other modern amenities.
“We have more plumbing in here than a Turkish bath,” laughed Roney, referring to the availability of public washrooms on each floor.
The Sterling building’s location is ideally situated as doctors are within walking distance of Vernon Jubilee Hospital. It also offers impressive fourth-floor views of Greater Vernon, including Mission Hill, Turtle Mountain, East Hill, Polson Park and Okanagan Landing.
Designed by Vernon’s MQN Architects, the building site backs onto Vernon Creek, which proved a challenge with respect to riparian regulations. Since the creek is a fish-bearing stream, it triggered a report by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to establish setback requirements.
“Because we were so close, they require certain features in the design to mitigate those impacts,” said MQN’s Wally Neumann.
Some of those requirements include planting native species in the riparian setback areas, the use of porous surfaces (brick pavers) for rainwater filtration in the back parking lot, and a storm water management system.
Roney is based in Vancouver, but jokes that he should change his address to the Thompson Okanagan given how much time he spends in the region. He is helping with similar projects in Kelowna and Penticton, and is sourcing a potential medical building site in Kamloops.
The Sterling Medical Building will host its grand opening in May.