It’s not unusual for us to get a phone call from a healthcare provider who is nearing the end of his or her lease and has decided to look at other options. The benefits of owning your own facility are many—being your own landlord, having the ability to customize your workspace, building equity, and even creating an additional revenue stream.
So, it was no surprise when we heard from Dr. Mark Hughes, FAAP, a local pediatrician who offers pediatric and adolescent care, well-child exams, newborn care, school and sports physical, minor injury treatment, immunizations, and acute and chronic illness care at Grace Pediatric's three locations in Smryna, Pleasant View and Thompson Station (Spring Hill).
I first met Dr. Hughes many years ago when I approached him about buying an ad in the Smyrna High School Quarterback Program. I got know Dr. Hughes better when we both served in the Rotary Club of Smyrna. I knew immediately he was a great fit for our community. And, that’s how we had the opportunity to help Dr. Hughes with his first project—a build-out of his leased space in Spring Hill.
“Dow did our first build-out in Spring Hill, and we really got to know each other. Before meeting Dow, I had experience with other construction companies, and there’s just no comparison between them and Dow’s degree of attention to his business,” notes Dr. Hughes.
At the same time, Dr. Hughes was leasing space in Smyrna, and his lease was about to expire. He asked us to help him review several lots he considered purchasing so he could construct a new building. We evaluated the options and assisted him in his due diligence as he determined the best fit for his growing medical practice.
In addition to assisting Dr. Hughes in purchasing property, our team also designed a new 16,000-square-foot building—providing Dr. Hughes with room to grow plus 6,000 square feet of space for other healthcare providers to lease. This additional revenue stream would help increase his return on investment. The project would end up being both a great short-term and long-term investment for Dr. Hughes.
Construction began and the winter presented its fair share of challenges for us. Brutally cold temperatures and biting winds made it difficult to keep the project on schedule. We knew that if the soils got wet and stayed wet, they might not be ready in time for the stone base or asphalt paving, and that would mean delays for the project. Delayed move-ins cost the client big money—extended lease payments, interest expense on construction loans, loss of income—not to mention the stress and aggravation of dealing with the delays.
Obviously, it doesn’t do any good to have a ready-go-to building and the patients can’t get into the parking lot. After planning, designing and building for more than 25 years, we have learned to ‘worry hard early’ on the parking lot. While typically the parking lot doesn’t have to be completed until the end of the project, in winter that approach has to change. Thinking ahead, project superintendent Gary Grisham had the base for the parking lot installed early on, so when the weather warmed, the parking lot was first in line with the asphalt paving company. And, the building was "dried in,” meaning any rain was just inconvenient, not harmful.
Like most of our clients, Dr. Hughes was very sensitive to this project being complete because his lease was going to expire at his former location and he needed to move soon. We helped alleviate those concerns through proper planning, designing and executing. At Dow Smith Company, we do so much more than swing hammers. We help our clients reach their goals and help them understand the process along the way.
“Dow and his team make something very hard, very easy. Their prices are fair, and they help you through every single step of the process. I can’t say enough good things about the whole team at Dow Smith Company and the quality result we have today,” adds Dr. Hughes.
Dr. Hughes received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. He is board-certified in pediatrics and is a member of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is Vice Chief of the Maternal-Child Department at StoneCrest and past Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Thomas Midtown. Dr. Hughes is currently working as a pediatric hospitalist and has privileges at six area hospitals, including Vanderbilt Medical Center, Saint Thomas Health Midtown, Centennial Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Williamson Medical Center, StoneCrest Medical Center and NorthCrest Medical Center. To learn more about Grace Pediatrics, visit www.gracepeds.com.