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Health care real estate owner takes over management of 29 buildings

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Healthcare Trust of America Inc., which owns 936,000 square feet of health care real estate in central Indiana, has taken over leasing and management of its entire local portfolio.

The Phoenix-based real estate investment trust brought the bulk of its portfolio in-house March 1 when it shifted responsibility for 29 buildings totaling 649,000 square feet to its local team.

The properties, mostly medical office buildings and outpatient surgery centers, had been managed by locally based Hokanson Cos. Inc.

Dawna H. Powell, who leads HTA’s local leasing and management team, previously worked for Hokanson, leaving the company in December 2010 to join HTA.

“Our main focus will be on closely managing and monitoring operating expenses, while maintaining high quality buildings and providing an attentive level of service” for tenants, Powell said in a prepared statement.

She told IBJ the change in management was a basic strategic move and wasn’t a result of dissatisfaction with previous management. “Who best is going to take care of your buildings other than the owner?” she said.

The majority of the area property that HTA just took over, about 420,000 square feet, is leased to Indiana University Health in medical facilities that ring Interstate 465. The entire HTA portfolio here is about 81 percent occupied, Powell said, and the largest contiguous vacancy is 20,000 square feet in a building near IU Health’s North Hospital in Carmel.

Six of HTA’s 38 central Indiana buildings are in Kokomo and Crawfordsville. They are among nine properties that HTA already was managing. The rest of the portfolio is in Indianapolis, Carmel, Greenwood, Brownsburg and Zionsville.

HTA has acquired 12 million square feet of health care real estate in 26 states since it was founded in 2006. It bought 700,000 square feet of its local portfolio in June 2008 from Long Beach, Calif.-based Health Care Property Investors.

Deeni Taylor, executive vice president of Duke Realty’s medical division, said there’s a trend of owners of medical office space taking management and leasing in house. “As they acquire more and have more resources and economies of scale we’re seeing them do their own property management.”  

Officials from Hokanson Cos. were not available to comment on the loss of the HTA buildings, which the company had managed since 2009, or to say what remains of its health care portfolio.

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