Just Let the Dentists Build Their Dental Practice Already!

After my recent survey found dentists more likely to own than rent their dental practice facilities, we started discussing dentists and commercial real estate. While I advised that a dental lease is often preferable, some dentists touted the benefits of ownership.

Well, here’s a horror story to make any dentist think twice about purchasing a building!

The short version is that a couple in Petaluma, California (he’s an endodontist, she’s an orthodontist) bought a building for their practice. After two years and half a million dollars, the dentists are still no closer to moving in — all thanks to some less-than-gracious neighbors determined to stop the project.

The property itself is a fairly unremarkable medical building that has been vacant for several years, located on a quiet block with several other doctors’ offices. The big controversy is that the new owners want to build a second story, which would bring the total square footage from just over 3,000 to just under 7,000.

The dentists hired an architect to draw up plans. They applied for all relevant permits. They were confident they would be approved, since Petaluma’s General Plan calls for infill of existing vacant structures and discourages “urban sprawl.”

The city approved their plans. Neighbors raised objections over the height of the building, traffic patterns, and sewage issues. Though the original plan was up to code, the dentists made some changes to appease the neighbors’ concerns. The plan was approved a second time.

So what happened next? Some neighbors formed a coalition, hired an attorney, and filed suit to stop the project on the grounds that an adequate environmental review had not been conducted and that it did not fit with the city’s General Plan. (Did I mention that Petaluma is an upscale town with wealthy residents?)

Except… the building does fit with the city’s General Plan. And, since it will stay under 10,000 square feet, state law does not require further environmental review.

And that’s just what the dentists will point out at the trial, now scheduled for January 2010.

Calling the whole thing a “nightmare,” the endodontist says he would never have bought the building had he known what he was getting into.

Two years and $500,000 down the drain… with nothing to show for it but a thick stack of paperwork.

Read more about it here and here

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.


© 2017, The Wealthy Dentist - Dental Marketing - All Rights Reserved - Dental Website Marketing Site Map

The Wealthy Dentist® - Contact by email - Privacy Policy

P.O. Box 1220, Tiburon, CA 94920

The material on this website is offered in conjunction with MasterPlan Alliance.

Copyright 2017 Du Molin & Du Molin, Inc. All rights reserved. If you would like to use material from this site, our reports, articles, training programs
or tutorials for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission first by email.