By: Amanda Bhikhari
In 2018, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) released its report “Build Well to Live Well” on the global and regional wellness lifestyle real estate and communities market. The report highlighted various emerging real estate wellness living concepts that will drive future development, and create a surge in the $134 Billion dollar industry, expected through 2022, to reach $180 billion.
The lines between home, work and leisure are less defined. Your neighbor can be your patient, your coach or your nutritionist. The millennial generation and others are focused on living where their needs for healthy and long life are considered. Many people are willing to pay out of pocket for services that contribute to their health and wellness. Medical industry groups and health services will have to catalyze in order to build these wellness communities. These communities will be created by combining medical industry companies and research organizations, high quality hospitals and health services for consumers, and holistically designed wellness focused homes and neighborhoods.
In Florida, the Lake Nona area in Orlando is surrounded by over a dozen world class hospitals, medical centers, human performance and sports training facilities, and tech companies clustered around its wellness-focused homes. Just a little north in Georgia, the wellness development Serenbe integrates an array of alternative, preventive, and healthy lifestyle services in its thriving residential neighborhood. Whether you are providing IV infusion services, acupuncture, or primary care, the necessity for these services in the wellness “utopia” creates a greater advantage to focus on your patient population and provide value on a much more personal level.
The longevity of the human life, and health of the American family are now top considerations for choosing real estate. No longer are location, schools and proximity to work the top priorities for many families. With the advent of numerous remote jobs and opportunities for virtual schools, many families today choose to operate and live where their essential needs for health and wellness are met, and the rest can fall into place. These developments are key areas of investment especially for the conscientious investor who puts their money where their morals are. The wellness utopia supports the investment in socially-responsible concepts and ideas. In today’s world, this type of investor is likely not only to exert economic influence, but also guide the real estate purchasing decisions of many others with the same values.
The legal ramifications for these wellness utopias include resolving title issues, navigating referral exceptions and contracting between medical providers and developers. Will the real estate purchased be encumbered by unending title issues? Will the referral to your neighbor who happens to be the only physician in the development fall into a Stark exception? Will the legislature need to consider a new exception if it does not? And finally, medical providers have entered lease and purchase agreements with landlords and sellers, but how will this change as they are now joined into the covenants of the association and must negotiate with the high powered developer? Despite the evolution of humanity making more conscientious real estate decisions, the law still leaves a solid line between what is legal and what is not, despite how forward thinking, and socially responsible the concept may be.