NHI Ups Investment in Senior Housing Venture, Eyes More Development

National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) is pumping even more capital into its joint-venture with Bickford Senior Living, following a $135 million acquisition of 17 senior housing communities the partnership closed earlier this month.

The Tennessee-based real estate investment trust (REIT) reaffirmed its commitment to the joint venture with Bickford, announcing yesterday a new $9.2 million loan to fund a portion of Bickford’s recent acquisition of six senior housing communities.

The loan, which has a two-year maturity with 12% annual interest, was funded from NHI’s revolving credit facility and also helped to negotiate a purchase option that would give the REIT the opportunity to purchase the assets in the future, NHI President and CEO Justin Hutchens told SHN.


“This investment advances our partnership with Bickford which also includes 27 stabilized assisted living communities and three under construction,” said Hutchens.

NHI has committed approximately $30 million toward the financing of these three communities currently under construction, Hutchens said, which will be combine both assisted living and memory care units located in Indiana.

Contrary to the recent strategies of many REITs that have shied away from ground-up construction, NHI says it is very interested in financing other development projects with new operating partners. The company is very selective in choosing those partners, however.


“NHI’s goal is to grow primarily through investing private-pay senior housing assets and partnering with operators that wake up each morning with their primary concern being the well-being of seniors,” said Hutchens. “We’re proud to say we have many operating partners in this business for the right reasons.”

Earlier this month, NHI announced its joint venture with Bickford acquired 17 assisted living and memory care communities for a total purchase price of $135 million. This acquisition brought the total number of communities operated under the joint venture to 30.

“When you combine Bickford’s operating track record with the strength of NHI’s balance sheet, I’m confident this partnership is poised for growth,” Hutchens said.

The six communities purchased by the Kansas-based Bickford are located in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri and comprise a total of 342 units. Overall occupancy is 89%, with average monthly revenue of over $4,900 per unit.

The NHI-Bickford joint venture currently consists of 30 senior living communities, with NHI now involved with 36 of Bickford’s 50 total operating properties.

Written by Jason Oliva

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