|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|04/19/2012 -ATIN- Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, one of the booming South Florida market’s most successful addiction treatment center, drug rehab and alcohol rehab operators, has just gotten zoning approval for a huge 165 bed facility in a hotel conversion deal, a type of addiction center transaction that appears to be emerging as a trend in Florida. The size of the deal is hard to overemphasize. The Watershed, one of BHOPB’s major local competitors, built a $16M complex several years back that, at about 120 beds, is currently one of the largest single structure residential operations in the nation. While BHOPB President Jack Coscia – a 50/50 partner with the late Don Mullaney in starting BHOPB – did not respond to an email seeking comment, ATIN sources say that BHOPB’s growth has been nothing short of spectacular since Mullaney passed in 2009. Mullaney and Coscia are arguably the most financially successful addition entrepreneurs to emerge in South Florida since the advent of managed care, which virtually shut down the regional industry beginning in the early 1990s. Mullaney handled care delivery at BHOPB. Coscia, who previously lived near Philadelphia before moving to Palm Beach upon Mullaney’s passing, handled marketing while plying his numerous EAP contacts for BHOPB. It was Mullaney who built the series of high end town homes on Ocean Drive – which helped crack the virulent NIMBYism surrounding addictions facilities located anywhere in tony ocean side environs – that are now BHOPB’s high end priced Sea Side Palm Beach. Sea Side has been a major revenue growth engine since opening in 2009. And now Coscia is adding his own impressive asset addition to the BHOPB cash cow. In keeping with the BHOPB tradition of buying in low end areas – much of BHOPB’s Florida Model housing is located near Riviera Beach, one of the poorest, most crime ridden neighborhoods in South Florida – zoning for the new 165 bed center was granted readily as officials agreed with BHOPB lawyers and representatives that having a treatment facility in the neighborhood would increase security in the area. Typically centers are accused by officials and residents of importing supposedly unsavory addicts into a neighborhood, decreasing security. In this case officials apparently were focused on welcoming real estate redevelopment in a somewhat blighted area starved for investment amid a very poor Florida economic, and especially real estate, environment. BHOPB has fairly recently incorporated an entity called Cottages of the Palm Beaches, which paid $6.5M for a former hotel property adjacent to the Florida Turnpike, an area not too far from a strip noted primarily as a major retail pornography distribution hub. In 2009, BHOPB’s revenues were approaching $20M, Mullaney told ATIN. With the Sea Side expansion since then, and once the gigantic new asset comes online, BHOPB will emerge as among the largest, for-profit addiction centers in the nation with annual revenues perhaps surpassing $50M.
Add on: BHOPB President Jack Coscia called ATIN shortly after we launched this story and had this to say: “We go in front of the full county comminssion for final approval by the end of the month,” he said, adding that BHOPB was taking nothing for granted in the process. An ATIN source in Palm Beach with extensive contacts at the Palm Beach County Commission said that the BHOPB application is encountering virtually no resistance and is expected to pass. As the treatment industry becomes a major engine of jobs and growth in South Florida, public officials who were once quick to back any NIMBY reaction to centers are now much more likely to put a good face on treatment expansion issues that come before them.
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