Timelines for Opening a Private Practice in Texas


How long does the process take to start your own private practice?

Generally, we advise our medical and dental clients to plan on 12-18 months, from the moment we meet until the moment you open your doors. In this article, we’re giving you visibility into a typical timeline.

A typical timeline for opening a medical or dental office follows as such:

  1. Discuss your practice goals with our dental brokers, evaluate the demographics, narrow sites, and negotiate the deal.

  2. Wait for the developer and/or landlord to deliver the shell space to you (the tenant).

  3. Apply for and receive a permit to begin construction.

  4. Build out your office space to suit your practice vision and begin seeing patients.

Timing variability on the steps outlined above is most impacted by these four elements:

  • Product availability

  • Market

  • Permit period

  • Construction period

Product availability simply means has the office been built or is it proposed construction? For an existing office, when will the office’s current tenant vacate the space? For proposed construction, when will the project deliver so that you can build out your office? Based on your target Texas market, some areas have more proposed construction than others.

Permit and construction periods typically have some variability in timing by market.

Related: Listen to this article in episode 33 of the Texas Dental Practice Podcast

Client: Kessler Park Dental in Dallas, Texas

How long does it take to open a medical or dental office in Dallas-Fort Worth?

Product availability (existing space or proposed construction) in the Dallas-Fort Worth Market:

  • 20% of dental offices are going into existing space.

  • 70% of dental offices are going into proposed space that will deliver in 2019.

  • 10% of dental offices are going into proposed space that will deliver in 2020.

The timing for each step of opening a medical or dental practice in Dallas-Fort Worth:

  • Approximately two months from our first meeting to finding sites and negotiating the deal.

  • Approximately 10 months for waiting for the developer and landlord to deliver the shell space to our client (tenant).

  • Approximately one month to receive a permit.

  • Approximately two to three months for construction to build out the space.

If you see a development “going vertical,” typically it’s too late for a general dentist to secure a space. So, if you’d like to start seeing patients in your new practice by March or April 2020, now is the time to start discussing your vision for your practice.

Committing to a space far in advance can help you identify and secure an optimal space with the best traffic, visibility, and co-tenants, as well as beat your competition to the deal.

Contact our healthcare real estate brokers in the Dallas office.

Client: Heights Eye Care in Houston, Texas

How long does it take to open a medical or dental practice in Houston?

As mentioned above, it takes about two months for our team to find a site and negotiate the deal. Plus, 10 months on average for the developer and landlord to deliver the shell space to the tenant.

The permit period is typically double within the Houston city limits as compared to Dallas. Currently, it takes about two months to get a permit in Houston. Outside of Houston, a permit could take up to a month and a half.

However, the construction time frame is roughly the same two- to three-month window, which is the same as the Dallas market.

If you’re interested in opening a dental practice in the Houston market, it would not be uncommon for your doors to open in April or May 2020.

Rushing this process could mean sacrificing an optimal location for a slightly quicker grand opening. We recommend our clients determine their practice goals, create a long-term strategy, and find a location that meets that criteria. And we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Discuss your practice goals with our medical real estate team in Houston.

Client: Swish Dental in Austin, Texas

How long does it take to open a medical or dental office in Austin?

As we saw in Dallas, the majority of real estate product has not been built yet and will deliver mid- to late-2019. That means, if you’re a dentist or optometrist who has chosen an office in a proposed development, you’ll be waiting on the site to be built for about 10 months.

Breaking down the timeline components:

  • Approximately two months to find an office and negotiate the lease.

  • Approximately 10 months for the building to be built and delivered.

  • Approximately two-and-a-half months for a permit within Austin, or two to two-and-a-half months for a permit outside of Austin’s city limits.

  • Approximately two-and-a-half to three months for the office to be built out.

If you want to startup a practice in Austin and see patients in your office by June 2020, we highly recommend that you begin your search today.

Connect with our healthcare real estate brokers in Austin.

Client: Mission Vision in San Antonio, Texas

How long does it take to open a medical or dental practice in San Antonio?

For San Antonio, approximately 75% of dental offices have been pre-leased for proposed developments that will deliver in mid- to late-2019. That means, if you’re a general dentist and you see a development “going vertical,” it’s likely that a space in that development has already been leased to another dentist.

As a reminder, it takes about two months for our team to find a site and negotiate the deal. Plus, 10 months for the developer and landlord to deliver the shell space to the tenant.

Currently, it takes about two-and-a-half to three months to receive a permit. The construction period for a medical or dental office to be built out ranges from two to three months. This brings the timing of opening a practice in the San Antonio market to 16.5 to 18 months from start to finish.

Connect with our medical and dental broker in San Antonio.

Typically, we advise our medical, optical, and dental clients to plan on 12 to 18 months, from the moment we meet until the moment you open your doors. Our medical and dental brokers are the first to know where the proposed developments are as well as the specific requirements needed for dental offices.

If you’d like to open your practice in 2020, now is the best time to talk with our medical and dental brokers to educate yourself on the process and determine your practice goals. Contact us today!


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