After weathering several recession-slowed years, the $20 million Oasis Park business and medical campus in Hixson is starting to fill.
Standifer Orthodontics will open Monday in the 14-acre office park. Michael McGauley, president of Fidelity Trust Co., which owns the facility said the complex's outlook brightened after improvements were made to the once-treacherous Hamill road where Oasis sits.
"Since the road was finished, we've really had a lot of interest," he said. "No less than six groups starting showing interest."
Fidelity hopes to have its 30,000 square-foot medical and professional office building full by the end of 2012. With the addition of Standifer Orthodontics, less than half the space remains.
The site hosts a 44,000 square-foot Sports Barn, and Oasis is ready to build out another 40,000 square feet for companies that commit to using the space.
"There's been a whole lot of intent; however one thing or another can come up," said Matt McGauley, vice president of Fidelity. "Obamacare and economic uncertainty keeps people from looking too far ahead."
But Denny Standifer, owner of the complex's orthodontic office, said the opportunity to look to the future when building a new office is exactly why he made the decision to move into Oasis' then-empty space.
"Orthodontics does not change, but it's the presentation that can set you apart," he said.
Standifer's $400,000 office space features cutting-edge X-ray and patient service technology. Most every room features some sort of flatscreen panel Standifer can use to help patients understand the procedures they're facing.
Standifer also invested in advanced dental molding technology. Dental technicians can take molds of patients' mouths then put them through a 3D scanner. A digital model will then appear on the office's computers for Standifer to study. If a physical model is needed, Standifer can send the digital model to a lab where a 3D printer will create a life-sized version, saving storage fees over once-necessary paper records.
Work started on the office space two months ago, and Standifer said the biggest challenge was getting his practice open before his old one shut down. Standifer has been practicing in Hixson since 1996, but after splitting with his old practice partner he had until Jan. 1 to get his new office and 11 employees working at Oasis.
His new office and the opportunity the build gave him occasion to rethink interactions with patients. He said he hopes he'll be able to cut out a lot of the dental jargon he's often forced to use with patients.
"We're trying to eliminate a lot of that and just talk to the parents about the needs of the child," he said.