Atria, Related Companies JV Targets $3 Billion of Urban Luxury Senior Living

Atria Senior Living is embarking on a new joint venture with luxury real estate firm Related Companies to develop, own and operate more than $3 billion worth of senior living communities in major, urban markets across the U.S.

The joint venture, announced Tuesday, initially includes sites in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., and other major metropolitan areas.

“We expect to bring two to three buildings online over the next few years, and the $3 billion [figure] reflects that development plan,” John Moore, CEO of Atria Senior Living, told Senior Housing News. “We will be focused on ground-up development.”

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Related and Atria will work with architects, designers, gerontologists and nutritionists to determine the services and amenities offered at each of the new communities. The communities will range from about 150 to 250 units, and will be centrally located in their respective metropolitan areas, Bloomberg reported. As many as a quarter of a community’s units will go toward memory care residences and services.

Each new development will also come with a range of upscale amenities such as multiple dining venues, gyms and pools. The communities’ owners will also aim to forge partnerships with local medical facilities to offer high-quality care to residents.

“We’re taking the best of what senior housing has done and taking the vision further,” Moore explained. “Highest-quality finishes, full-size apartments, access to technology and wellness programs, true concierge support for residents with very thoughtful and discreet care in the background with opportunities to choose based on their needs.”

As far as branding goes, the communities developed in the joint venture will exist under a new banner that will be determined at a later date.

“We’re working on a new brand that will reflect the quality of what we intend to do together,” Moore said.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Atria currently operates 225 communities across the U.S. and Canada, while New York City-based Related Companies has $50 billion in real estate assets owned or under development, including mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties. Related Companies also owns luxury fitness brand Equinox Fitness.

Joining forces

The joint venture between Related Companies and Atria connects an experienced luxury real estate firm with one of the largest senior living providers in the U.S.

“We expect many opportunities to work with high-quality partners, affiliated with ourselves, Related, and new partnerships,” Moore explained. “In addition to being perhaps the best urban builder in the world, these kinds of opportunities show the power of having Related as a partner.”

Part of the thinking behind the new JV is that, despite a projected increase in the number of older Americans over the next decade, there exists a lack of urban senior housing options throughout the country. Indeed, many players within the senior living industry have long sought to crack the code of developing in urban areas.

If all goes according to plan, the new venture will start delivering new openings in the early-to-mid 2020s, setting the two companies up to benefit from the looming “silver Tsunami” age wave.

“We see ‘peak senior’ — the point in time when seniors will be the highest percentage of the population that they’ve ever been or will be — occurring in the late 2020’s. At the same time, we continue to live through a long-term re-urbanization trend that will result in more and more people living in cities,” Moore said. “All of this will combine to produce the need for solutions like the Related-Atria venture, as well as many more senior living and support products.”

Moore added: “We plan to be the best answer imaginable for a very important segment of the senior population.”

Already, some developers, owners and operators are beefing up their footprints in high-barrier-to-entry cities such as New York City, Atlanta and Dallas. Earlier this year, for example, Ventas (NYSE: VTR) struck a $194 million deal to buy from Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) a senior housing community located in New York City’s Battery Park neighborhood. Similarly, international real estate firm Hines and Welltower (NYSE:WELL) broke ground in March on a 16-story tower that will house midtown Manhattan’s first purpose-built assisted living and memory care community.

Written by Tim Regan

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