MUSC buys $28M warehouse as North Charleston project nears completion

The Medical University of South Carolina has acquired a high-tech supply warehouse and sterilization center from a private company as the North Charleston project nears completion. SensusOne, a Macomb, Mich.-based development group that specializes in the health care industry, sold the property for $28 million. The sale closed on Sept. 27. MUSC began using part of the new facility a few days earlier to sterilize medical supplies for its new children’s health office, also in North Charleston, and some components of its peninsula hospital.

MUSC hired SensusOne last year to construct the 106,500-square-foot “consolidated service center” at 7771 Palmetto Commerce Parkway, near Ashley Phosphate Road. The firm also built a new North Charleston emergency department for Roper St. Francis that opened this spring. Along with sterilizing its medical equipment, MUSC will begin using the property to store and keep track of all of its supplies, serving its downtown campus as well as the system’s other locations. MUSC financed the project with bonds. The developer has predicted the facility will pay for itself in two years by saving about $14 million in annual operating costs. The hospital system spent $771.4 million in operating expenses in its 2018 fiscal year.

Tom Crawford, MUSC’s interim chief operating officer, told the university’s board of trustees last week that the project is expected to be completed under budget. The warehouse will likely be ready for occupancy by February. The new center is already the envy of other hospital systems that may look to copy the model and reduce their own operating costs, Crawford said. The project should also better prepare MUSC for natural disasters such as hurricanes, given the storage capacity to store more supplies, Crawford said. It could house about a four-day supply of medical necessities.

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