rethink retail

The shops at swedish, swedish medical center

These days, healthcare facilities need every edge they can get to compete with constant change, shrinking reimbursements and rising operating costs.  As the largest, most comprehensive non-profit provider in the greater Seattle area, Swedish Medical Group was well aware of these challenges. Swedish, which connects a network of more than 70 primary-care and specialty clinics, had selected the Seattle-region Issaquah Highlands for a new, ground-up medical office building.  Callison had already partnered with Swedish to develop the clinic portion of the building, which gave the healthcare provider the opportunity to reach an under served community and provide services such as obstetrics, gynecology, outpatient rehabilitation, primary care and pediatric specialties.  When Swedish executives realized that unassigned space would be available on the main entry floor, they came to us for ideas. Their goal: to explore uses that would fit within the existing framework while offering residents of the surrounding area another way to connect with the new facility.

The advantages of rethinking retail.  In the course of discussing uses for the new facility’s main entry floor, we made a surprising suggestion: we proposed incorporating retail space.  But not just any space.  The area we envisioned would provide retail stores for patients, physicians, care teams and families that would enrich their lives, enhance Swedish’s bottom line and boost patient and care team satisfaction. All while setting Swedish apart from the competition.

To make this vision a reality, our healthcare team identified retail as a way to extend the Swedish brand and create a neighborhood hub for wellness.  The ultimate goal was to provide a wellness environment for patients and visitors and for the extended Issaquah Highlands Community.  It was key that we integrate flexibility and functionality in the retail space, and it had to fit within the larger brand of the facility. The shops speak to the specific needs of the medical center and provide extended services to the neighborhood.

Creating connections, not just retail.  Experts from Callison’s retail team joined the discussion and developed a plan for retail that would be uniquely focused on community, staff and patients. To allow the facility to perform as a community center for the neighborhood, we developed a tenant mix with tailored merchandise and services that were not available in the surrounding neighborhood.  Our team then provided Swedish with plan layouts that accommodated the proposed products and features. We also held a series of meetings with potential users and key personnel at Swedish to gain additional insight to improve the final design.  Retail areas include shops focused on products for healthy living, support for cancer patients and new mothers, additional space for childcare during a patient’s visit, a “flex-space” for yoga or seminars and an over-the-counter pharmacy.

The power of a new idea.  The Issaquah Highland community received an economic boost by becoming the choice destination for medical care. At the same time, the addition of community-oriented retail on the building main floor resulted in greater customer loyalty and the tailored mix of services and merchandise provided opportunity for Swedish to gain market share by retaining customers from appointment through discharge and need fulfillment.

“The Callison team fully understood the importance of wellness-focused retail and the result is a truly integrated center for our patients and the greater community,” said Kevin Brown, Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer of Swedish Issaquah. Brown says that the addition has also helped Swedish attract and retain top talent by providing a philosophical differentiator from its competition and offering a holistic culture of care and community.  As a result of the success it has experienced at its new Issaquah facility, Swedish is actively exploring ways to integrate similar retail space into both existing and planned facilities.

Awards 

Technology/Life Sciences (Non-public) Development of the Year National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) 2011

Daily Journal of Commerce Building of the Year 2012

Location 
Issaquah, Washington
Specifications 

16,000 sf Retail

Services 
Callison Real Estate Strategies
Fixture Design
Interior Design
LEED Certification
Medical Planning
Graphic Design