Healthcare Services is a Key Industry in Henry County

Henry County, located 20 miles southeast of Atlanta, recognizes the healthcare services industry as one it will focus on expanding as it continues to position itself as a corporate hub in Georgia. Nationally, this sector grew 28 percent between 2001 and 2011 and in Henry County it nearly doubled during that same time period. An aging population and strong predictions of population growth will only continue the opportunity and demand in this industry.

Healthcare services include hospitals, medical laboratories, clinics, wellness centers and outpatient treatment facilities. In Henry County, Piedmont Henry Hospital provides exceptional care to residents and visitors as a full service, fully accredited hospital. It also serves as one of the county’s top employers with more than 1,200 employees.

Henry County is well-poised to attract new healthcare services as well as expand existing ones. McWhirter Realty Partners has a strong history of working with healthcare systems and knowledge of medical office space availability and requirements throughout Henry County.

Our current opportunities include:

If you have questions about healthcare real estate in the Henry County area contact us today.


Tips to Protect Vacant Property

Commercial property owners and landlords manage vacant properties during tenant transitions, with newly acquired assets or due to a difficult location. However, it’s not safe to assume that because a property is empty nothing can go wrong.  Often times it’s the opposite. Vacant buildings become a target for theft and vandalism thus increasing the time it’s left unoccupied and without a revenue stream.

Here are some steps to protect susceptible property:

Install Security Systems

Onsite security measures are the most important aspect in preventing damage. Visible alarms and patrol guards deter individuals and offer a quick means to alerting authorities should someone break in. Motion-activated lighting will scare off potential criminals and cameras will help identify anyone who does cause damage.

Talk to Local Law Enforcement

Having a positive working relationship with your local law enforcement can often be your greatest advantage to protecting your property. Many police departments have a No Trespass Agreement, which is an agreement between the property owner and the law enforcement agency that allows the law enforcement agency to arrest any person(s) that is unlawfully on the property. This not only benefits the owner but also neighboring properties and the surrounding community.

Continue Routine Maintenance

An unkempt building is one that will attract criminals and vandals. While necessary maintenance varies dependent on the building type, common issues to monitor are interior temperature, roof and gutter repairs, snow removal and sprinkler systems. By maintaining landscaping, the property continues to look occupied, decreases potential hiding places by reducing overgrown vegetation and means the property has regular traffic from service professionals.




Healthcare Real Estate in Demand for 2016

With healthcare costs continuing to rise and the rapidly growing aging population, medical office space will continue to be in high demand through 2016 and beyond. It’s anticipated that investment in this industry will increase and the retail sector will continue to benefit as outpatient facilities look to lease in areas more convenient to their patients.

Low interest rates and stable tenants lend favorably for investors in the healthcare real estate industry. However, these factors combined with the aging demographic and effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have also increased demand and competition for healthcare properties. These same factors also create some financial uncertainty as question still remain regarding exactly how the ACA and insurance will effect hospitals and healthcare systems that are being charged with reducing costs while increasing the quality of care.

Reducing costs is one factor that is also driving healthcare – particularly outpatient services – to retail centers. With the ACA increasing the number of insured and convenience continuing to drive consumer trends, more people are choosing their healthcare providers the same as traditional retail in terms of choice and cost. Medical providers are relocating to shopping centers to capitalize on foot traffic and retail health clinics are on the rise due to their ability to provide longer hours, shorter waits and onsite services such as a pharmacy.

McWhirter Realty Partners continues to follow healthcare trends and understands the context, challenges and opportunities faced by medical practices in this market.  Plus, we have a strong history of working with healthcare systems and knowledge of medical office space availability and requirements throughout the metro Atlanta area.

Current leasing opportunities include six buildings in Decatur, Georgia, adjacent to Dekalb Medical with 14,000 SF currently available for lease. More information on the properties can be found here.

McWhirter Realty Partners understands the intricacies of site selection and entitlements to effectively guide decisions. If you have questions about healthcare real estate in the Atlanta area contact us today.




REO Services Case Study: Storage and Retail Properties

The Property:

Wells Fargo foreclosed on six single-story metal and masonry storage buildings in Jesup, Georgia. The buildings were located on two separate properties and consisted of 106 non-climate controlled units and 78 climate controlled units. The buildings were in poor condition with outdated inspections, non-working A/C units and no local daily management. Furthermore, there were no available tenant records as a result of the former owner removing all such records at time of foreclosure.

Additionally, Wells Fargo foreclosed on a 3,000 SF retail building with two active tenants. The property lacked security, and management.

What We Did: 

McWhirter Realty Partners was engaged to manage, market and sell in a very depressed economic environment. The company immediately sent a property manager to Jesup to facilitate updating inspections, contracting for the new AC units and accessing the management system to find the current tenants. Once the tenants were notified of the change of the property owner and the property was repaired, McWhirter Realty Partners engaged a local broker with REO storage experience to maintain the daily management. Both properties were successfully sold.

REO Services Case Study: Industrial and Manufacturing Facility

The Property: 

BB&T foreclosed on a single tenant office warehouse building containing 125,000 square feet. The building was used by the prior owner as a fabric manufacturing facility. Upon foreclosure, the former owner vacated and left its equipment, furniture, trash, cardboard, large industrial spools and other equipment that was used in manufacturing fabric.

What We Did:

McWhirter Realty Partners was engaged by BB&T to secure the building and to start the process of liquidation of the equipment, furniture and materials left by former owner. McWhirter Realty Partners obtained bids to make the immediate building repairs, including repairs necessary to bring the building into compliance. McWhirter Realty Partners then supervised the liquidation of the equipment, furniture and materials. Upon completion of this work, McWhirter Realty Partners began aggressively marketing the building for sale and subsequently sold the building to a user.


Preparing Your Commercial Property for Winter Weather

It’s the time of year when temperatures can fluctuate drastically and being caught unprepared in an unexpected hard freeze can lead to significant property damage. Now is the time for business owners to think ahead to ensure their property is protected and action plans are in place when the cold weather hits.

  • Inspect mechanical systems and change filters
  • Test gas lines that have been dormant during the warmer months
  • Ensure pipes are properly insulated to avoid breaks
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detection systems
  • Make sure exterior access points have proper weather stripping
  • Replenish emergency supplies including flashlights, batteries, rock salt, sand and snow/ice removal equipment
  • Test the freeze sensor on the irrigation system

Review your winterization plan with your maintenance team. Ensure proper steps are taken now in the case of an unexpected freeze and also prepare a timeline for actions to be taken as the weather continues to cool. Make sure all employees know what to do in the case of severe weather and how they can help prepare to be safe.

McWhirter Realty Partners has a skilled property management team with experience preparing and recovering from weather related events. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about our services or need a property management partner.

Northwest Georgia Land Market Offers Opportunity

Recreational properties in Georgia are attractive to outdoor enthusiasts and investors alike. Northwest Georgia in particular draws interest from both inside and outside the state with its proximity to metropolitan areas in Alabama and Tennessee. Often times these properties can help pay for themselves depending on the resources available for farming and timber.

McWhirter Realty Partners is currently offering a 195 acre tract in Walker County just outside of the Chattahoochee National Forest. It’s conveniently located just 1.5 hours from Atlanta and is within an hour of Chattanooga.  The property offers a mixture of pastures, timber and streams with access to the headwaters of the Chattooga River.

A desirable location for both families and businesses, Walker County also benefits from the tourist industry by being home to the Chickamauga Battlefield National Park and Rock City Gardens at Lookout Mountain.

McWhirter Realty Partners continues to follow trends, challenges and opportunities in the recreational land market.  If you have questions about this property or other land available, please visit

Protecting Your Commercial Property in a Flood

The severe flooding throughout the East Coast, especially South Carolina, has business owners reevaluating their flood protection measures both in existing buildings and new construction. Whether a building is located in an identified flood zone or not, there is more than just insurance to truly protect your business and financial investment.

  • Build with Flood Damage Resistant Materials: Building materials that can withstand direct contact with floodwaters for 72 hours are deemed “flood resistant” and should be used for building areas below the base flood elevation area. While these materials won’t prevent all damage, they will reduce the amount of damage and severity of clean-up. A list of these materials is available through FEMA.
  • Install Sewer Backflow Valves: Sewage backup not only causes damage but can also create a health hazard. Installing valves that temporarily block the drain to prevent return flow should be installed by a licensed plumber who can advise on the correct valve for your plumbing system.
  • Anchor Fuel Tanks: Rising flood waters can easily move unanchored fuel tanks located both inside and outside of a building causing property damage and an environmental hazard. Options for appropriately anchoring a fuel tank can be found on the FEMA website at
  • Protect Electrical Systems: Components such as service panels, outlets and switches are easily damaged beyond repair by water and pose a great fire hazard. Make sure you work with a licensed contractor for proper safety measures and check with the local power company on specific regulations. An undamaged electrical system reduces hazards and will help your business return to regular operations more quickly.

Flooding is a serious threat however being thorough and proactive in your preparedness can ensure your business is protected. McWhirter Realty Partners has a skilled property management team with experience preparing and recovering from weather related events. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about how we can protect your investments and increase your property’s value through our premier property management services.


Healthcare Real Estate Remains Strong through Third Quarter 2015

A growing population and aging demographic coupled with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act are creating opportunities for new development and expansion within the healthcare real estate industry.

With more people having access to healthcare, there is an uptick in hospital expansion in new markets and in the creation of suburban clinics. There is also a growing trend to move diagnostic and treatment services such as oncology, cardiology and orthopedic care away from main campuses into clinics closer to the patient population most in need of these services – the boomers. Construction of new facilities allows for strategic location of services and is also better suited for today’s technology infrastructure that can withstand the fast-paced changes occurring within the industry.

In May, McWhirter Realty Partners and MB Real Estate Healthcare Group broke ground on a 30,000 square foot expansion of medical office space in Conyers, Georgia. The new medical office building in Conyers Medical Park allows Rockdale Medical Center, a subsidiary of LifePoint Health, to expand its urgent care, general surgery, vascular and neurological operations among other specialties.

This is the second of four buildings planned for the Conyers Medical Park and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2015.

McWhirter Realty Partners continues to follow healthcare trends and understands the context, challenges and opportunities faced by medical practices in this market.  Plus, we have a strong history of working with healthcare systems and knowledge of medical office space availability and requirements throughout the metro Atlanta are. If you have questions about healthcare real estate in the Atlanta area contact us today.


Atlanta’s Retail Market Shows Steady Growth

There are a lot of positive elements taking place in the Atlanta retail market – occupancy is at its highest in seven years, new construction is increasing and the average rental rate remains low. What’s more, analysts anticipate the growth to continue with the overall occupancy rate increasing through the end of 2015.

While high occupancy levels and low rental rates seem to be contradictory, no one is complaining about the impact it’s having in the industry. Driving the major growth in the retail market is the increase in new apartment developments in-town and suburban mixed-use developments such as the Avalon in Alpharetta.

However, the average rental rate remains low due to the abundance of outdated properties in outlying areas that are unattractive to retailers and thus difficult to lease. Retailers realize slightly higher than average rental rates in urban markets but not as high as it could be without the vacancy in rural markets.

While this news is positive and developers are hopeful it continues, Atlanta is not unlike other markets where the greatest challenge continues to be from e-commerce retailers. To compete with the convenience of on-line shopping, developers will need to be creative in their approach in creating destinations for the brick and mortar retailers to attract consumers.

McWhirter Realty Partners helps companies find current retail pace but also identifies, develops and manages new construction opportunities. Contact us today or visit our listing page for more information.