Construction is underway on the new Calko Medical Center at 6010 Bay Parkway in the Borough Park and Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, a multi-million dollar facility that can claim to be a bit of a medical miracle for the borough.
Slated to house numerous medical and surgical practices, a multi-specialty surgery center and provide adjunct services to Maimonides Hospital, the 100,000 s/f, $54 million building is the brainchild of gastroenterologist, Dr. Robert Kodsi, and real estate developer, Mark Caller.
Calko is slated to become one of the most technologically advanced medical facilities in the city, as well as one of the largest endoscopy centers in the country
“This center will completely change how patients receive medical care,” said Dr Kodsi.
“Record keeping will be electronically available, even in an emergency setting. With valet parking, decreased waiting times, less than 24-hour, or in urgent cases, just a few hour results for radiology and pathology reports, this is clearly the future of how ambulatory procedures and medical care will be performed.”
Caller added, “The construction of the center will streamline the multi-faceted needs of area doctors and their patients. It is being designed for optimal patient care and safety from the ground up. The center is easily accessible from public transportation and there will be indoor parking as well as patient drop-off points in an enclosed area.”
Radnet, Brooklyn Surgical Center, Maimonides Radiology Group, Genesis Fertility, Maimonides Orthopedic Motility and Nutrition Center, and many private physician offices have already committed to leasing space in the Calko Medical Center. Before the team even broke ground last month, 70% of the space had already been pre-leased at rents ranging from $30 – $50 per square foot.
It’s a success story that almost never happened, though.
In 2005, a much sought after 200 x 100 lot in a prime neighborhood on the border of Borough Park and Bensonhurst came on the market. Then 33-year-old real estate developer Caller, who grew up blocks from the property, saw much potential for the site and made a bid: $8.3 million sealed the deal.
Caller’s approved plans included a mixed-use building with retail on the first floor, community space on the 2nd floor and residential units above.
Just about to break ground in 2007, the market came to a halt and the financing was pulled out from under him.
For the next four years, the builder attempted to develop an array of concepts on the property – an apartment building, a nursing home, a single use retail space – but couldn’t find a lender willing to take the risks to underwrite new construction under the current market conditions.
A chance introduction to a local gastroenterologist, also with an unfulfilled vision , changed that.
Dr. Robert Kodsi had been looking to purchase land in the vicinity of Maimonides Medical Center to expand his medical practice. Although Caller’s parcel wasn’t in the exact location (in fact it was just under 3 miles away from Maimonides), the developer convinced him that it would be a better spot since it could attract new patients living nearby and additional medical practices.
Maimonides Hospital backed the concept and agreed to affiliate itself with the project, assisting Kodsi with obtaining the license for a surgery center, which would make the center all the more valuable.
Caller was able to obtain financing in the current market environment because of the solid fundamentals behind the underwriting of the highly specialized and focused property.
The project is estimated to bring $40 million a year in business to Brooklyn and will directly create over 60 new high paying long-term jobs and indirectly create numerous more.