Passages Malibu in Florida Foray, Small West Palm Med Surg Conversion

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
02/09/2015 -ATIN – Passages Malibu, the controversial center that has grown hugely financially successful over the last couple of decades or so by launching big national ad campaigns the centerpiece of which has been a book written by the father and son founders called “The Alcoholism and Addiction CURE,” has purchased a small former med surg property in far Western Palm Beach County in South Florida, this after reputedly shopping Passages through investment bankers and getting no takers, or at least any takers that were perhaps apparently to the founding pair Pax and Chris Prentiss’ liking. (Neither has responded as of yet to email requests for comment) With the addiction treatment industry becoming more “in play” by the day it  seems – with hugely successful IPOs like Mike Cartwright’s American Addiction Centers (NYSE: AAC) and legendary behavioral health industry icons like Joey Jacobs pulling off the largest deal in addictions market history by taking CRC Health Corp off private equity giant Bain Capital’s hands for $1.7B in stock as well as new builds and many smaller transactions- perhaps the Prentiss’ understood that in such an environment it’s especially important to keep one’s enterprise on a growth path, with truisms like “grow or die” truer than ever as the psychology of markets that become “in play” make them so.

Former Glade Hospital Property

According to local reports, Passages paid $1.3M for 14 acres and the former med surg buildings and infrastructure, which is now the closed Glades General Hospital. The property has a ton of potential, especially as Passages first foray outside of California for its Passages Ventura affordable brand in possibly working out in-network deals in a rehabbed former Glades General Hospital, which had 75 beds when it closed in 2010. There also exists the possibility that Passages could build a luxury ranch-style facility of a perhaps a dozen to two dozen beds on the large former 14-acre med-surg premises.  South Florida’s famous NIMBY problems are next to non-existent that far west in Palm Beach County, where local reports have said that development officials are eager to promote the project as a means to encourage employment growth and the like, although treatment center CEOs that we talked to said there is a severe shortage of high quality therapeutic talent in South Florida right now and getting good counselors to either move out to the boonies or engage in what for Florida would be a long commute to work might be difficult for Passages.

Refreshing to Work With Enthusiastic Development Officials

Chris Prentiss told local reporters that it was “refreshing” to work with local officials who were so enthusiastic about getting behind the development of an addiction treatment project, with the emphasis clearly seeming to come from the potential for job creation as well as ancillary development like restaurants and possibly a new hotel to accommodate visiting family members as well as families participating in family addiction treatment therapeutic programs at the Passages new Florida center. Local officials said in published reports that Passages’ total investment in the med-surg property conversion could likely range between $3M and $10M and if all goes well could mean the center will be up and running by the end of 2015, bringing even more intense competition to the South Florida market from a proven highly savvy addiction treatment marketer.


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