Made in Manhattan: Maplewood, Omega Eye Further NYC Development

Maplewood Senior Living and Omega Healthcare Investors [NYSE: OHI] made headlines recently with their plans to develop a $246 million senior living residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And that could be just the start for the partnership, which is targeting some of the most premium real estate in New York City for future developments, Maplewood CEO Greg Smith tells SHN. 

The project on the Upper East Side drew attention for a number of reasons. It is a splashy foray into private pay senior housing for Omega, a real estate investment trust focused almost exclusively on skilled nursing properties. And it is the first New York City operation for Maplewood, a high-end senior living provider based in Westport, Connecticut. Maplewood Senior Living provides a range of senior living solutions across its 11 communities, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, respite care and memory care.

Maplewood sees the potential for additional properties in New York, as the high barrier of entry in the urban market is coupled with a growing need for luxury senior housing options in Manhattan, Smith says. 

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“We’re absolutely considering additional opportunities in Manhattan,” says Smith. “This is an Upper East Side project. Our [future] focus will probably be Upper West Side and then an additional one in Midtown. That would help us fill what we believe to be a void in the market.”

Smith says Omega would also be the capital partner for those potential developments. 

“We’re thrilled to have the relationship with [Omega], and knowing that it was somewhat outside their box, having the trust and confidence from them in our abilities is what’s most important to us,” says Smith.
 
Maplewood communities have so far been constructed in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, but Smith says now is the right time to enter the New York City market.

“We consider the demand in the NYC market be relatively strong,” says Smith. “Really the high barrier of entry and the lack of new supply coming into the market is the real reason we chose New York as a venture to take on.”

Maplewood plans to build a single, 201,000 square-foot tower on its Upper East Side site: 1802, 1804-6, 1808 and 1801 Second Avenue and 303-305 E. 93rd Street. The five properties were purchased in all-cash transactions for $112 million by two subsidiaries of Omega.

The development will be 20 stories with 214 units, with independent living, assisted living and memory care. Handel Architects has been chosen to design the residence, focusing on bringing recognizable qualities of Maplewood properties to New York. One example of the type of premium amenities that Maplewood plans to offer: Outdoor spaces on every level to give residents the opportunity to experience the outdoors while living in New York City.

“It will be consistent with our brand philosophy and development strategies,” says Smith. “Although they may not resemble each other, which none of our communities do because they are unique, that same development strategy will be carried into Manhattan.”

Written by Amy Baxter 

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