By Michael WaddellUpdated: December 22, 2019 6:36 PM CT | Published: December 21, 2019 4:05 AM CT
Celebrating his 10-year anniversary in business in Arlington this year, Arlington Physical Therapy LLC owner Matt Connell is wearing multiple hats heading into the New Year.
In addition to serving as the director of physical therapy at his clinic at 5780 Airline Road, he is a real estate developer with plans to build a new Arlington Physical Therapy Center in the Center at Hayes Crossing planned development on the east side of Airline Road near the intersection at Cranston Road.
APT specializes in orthopedic, sport and spine rehabilitation and sees a lot of patients from the Lakeland, Arlington and Oakland areas with sports injuries, total joint injuries and back pain. Connell worked at Campbell Clinic on Germantown Road as sports medicine manager for five years before leaving to start his own private practice.
“Ten years ago, I did a lot of praying and felt like God wanted my wife and I to do something different to align more of my work and ministry together with where we lived,” Connell said. “Since opening up in Arlington, the business has just gotten busier and busier.”
He describes the past decade as tough but rewarding.
“Being a small-business owner in health care with all of the changes with Obamacare and other factors, it’s been challenging for private practices for sure,” Connell said. “We work really hard to provide quality care with excellent customer service and value.”
He purchased an undeveloped two-acre lot in the Center at Hayes Crossing development six years ago. The Hayes Crossing project had stalled in the late 2000s following the economic downturn, and individual parcels were sold off over the years.
“This is a planned development that’s been on the books for a long time,” Arlington Town Administrator Cathy Durant said. “Most of the common infrastructure has been installed. Now it’s just the site plans, so the individual buildings are dropping in.”
Connell held onto his plot for a few years and then subdivided it, selling back two-thirds to Pediatrics East LLC. That practice will build its own 7,300-square-foot clinic space next year on a 1.2-acre lot.
“We have the same construction timeframe and will be sharing some of the expense by building together,” Connell said.
The estimated cost of the new building, which will sit on a nearly three-quarter-acre site at 5584 Airline Road, is expected to total about $1 million.
Renaissance Group drew up plans for the 5,300-square-foot building, which will be divided into three bays. Arlington Physical Therapy will occupy the largest bay, measuring about 2,100 square feet, and the remaining two bays, measuring 1,400 and 1,600 square feet, will be leased to tenants not yet determined.
The site plan was approved recently by the Arlington Planning Commission, and the project will next go before the town’s Design Review Committee next month.
“I think it will be a beautiful building and a nice improvement to Airline (Road),” Planning Commission member Susan Payne said.
Connell anticipates construction beginning in February or March, and he hopes to be able to move into the new space by next fall.
The practice employs eight people, and Connell will add personnel when the new building is finished.
“I’m looking to hire two more full-time physical therapists that would fit within our patient-first culture,” he said.