Two years, dozens of site visits and several operator interviews later, Northstar Commercial Partners revealed its first senior housing foray with a development in Denver, making the privately held commercial real estate investment company the latest new entrant in the senior living industry.
Northstar on Monday announced its acquisition of a 1.56-acre parcel of land in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood, where the company will develop an assisted living and memory care community for $21 million. It is slated to include 58 assisted living and 16 memory care units, and expected to open in the spring of 2017.
Colorado-based Balfour Senior Living was selected to operate the new community.
“We didn’t have experience in the space, so we knew we needed to team up with an operator that had decades of successful operations experience, along with development experience,” Jason Marcotte, a development manager with Northstar, tells Senior Housing News. “It takes lots of time and investment to get comfortable with going from the ground up.”
Stapleton represents an urban development of the land that housed the former Stapleton International Airport, and now boasts more than 19,000 residents, 50 parks and 38 miles of trails. The land purchased by Northstar puts future residents near grocery stores and national retailers alike.
“The demographics there were prime, and there weren’t any direct competitors,” Marcotte says. “There are two other independent living, age-restricted communities on the same block, and we saw those other units as feeders.”
In fact, Northstar bought the land directly from the developer of one of the two existing age-restricted apartment complexes, he says. That’s because it was apparent that there was a need for assisted living among people living there or in the area, making it an ideal location for this particular project.
Down the road, Northstar plans to grow its relationship with Balfour outside of Colorado, Marcotte says, but exact locations haven’t yet been unveiled.
“If we find the right market where there’s definitely a need for senior living, we as developers will go in there and try to meet that need,” he says.
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Written by Kourtney Liepelt