Firms capitalize on tri-state’s lack of assisted-living communities

May 09, 2011 11:10AM

Not only does the New York-metro area have the second-fewest available assisted-living units in the country, but the number of units have grown at a glacial 3 percent rate, far below the national average of 7.4 percent, according to a National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry report cited by the Wall Street Journal. As a result, some of the companies that have invested in assisted-living in the region are experiencing large returns. For example, Maplewood Communities bought a failed nursing home in Danbury, Conn. for $11.5 million in 2004, converted into an assisted-living community with rents between $4,700 and $4,900 per month, and now earns $1.5 million in annual income, bringing the development’s estimated value to $18 million, according to company head Greg Smith. Since that purchase, Smith has built two other communities and has 225 more units under development in the region. He said his company hopes to develop 15 to 25 assisted-living communities when all is said and done. Other large owners of local assisted-living communities include Benchmark Senior Living, which owns 15 Connecticut facilities and is expanding into New York, New Jersey and New England. Meanwhile, the Journal noted that the biggest real estate mergers in the country this year, including Venta’s $5.8 billion acquisition of Nationwide Health Properties in February, involved health-care landlords looking to expand their nationwide senior housing portfolio. [WSJ]