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New office results from playful promise

Dr. Kelly Shanahan, a Lake Tahoe gynecologist, would argue that it helps to sleep with the landlord and creator of her practice’s office building.

Let’s clarify.

The landlord tailoring a new pad for Shanahan’s Woman To Woman Health Care practice to open July 1 next to Ernie’s Coffee Shop is her husband Jeff Turney, who happens to be a builder.



Shanahan bought the lot with her husband on U.S. Highway 50 near the “Y,” with the promise she playfully calls a threat that he’d build her an office building.

The doctor, who is renting her practice’s current location in town with Drs. Cynthia Kolb and Lauren Bower, compares the compromise to losing an arm wrestling match.




She wanted to buy an existing 4,700-square-foot spec house, until her husband talked her out of it with a pledge to build one for her.

“One reason for moving is if you own real estate, you control your destiny,” Shanahan said, emphasizing the pride in ownership. “Your landlord could kick you out and raise the rent.”

The rent has gone up on the doctors once in the two years since they’ve built up an 8,000-patient practice on South Avenue.

This new site will have about the same 2,400 square feet as Shanahan’s current location but makes better use of the space. There’s also 1,600 square feet to eventually tap into upstairs.

At $40 a square foot, the new location had better fulfill their needs, she declared.

When the practice is up and running, Shanahan estimated the new digs will have cost $500,000.

In the long, long run though, the structure will pay for itself in value and her staff should be happier. For one thing, the nurses will have a larger station to work from, she said while touring the site.

“I love it when a building is going up. You can walk through studs,” she said, stepping through the proposed waiting area and reception room.

While pointing out different sections of the building including a proposed porch out front, Shanahan noted how the new bathrooms will be about the same size as the four examination rooms.

Codes require the ADA-compliant bathroom space for both women’s and men’s restrooms.

“I told them, ‘I’m a gynecologist, I don’t need a men’s bathroom,’ ” she quipped.

As for the man in her life, Shanahan said she feels a little guilty about seeing her husband working on the roof in severe conditions to keep his construction schedule.

Despite the blustery winter weather, everything seems to be falling into place since the couple received the permit to build last September. They submitted plans a year ago this month.

It seems the toughest part will be resisting the temptation to dip into Ernie’s to eat, Shanahan said.


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