Welltower Plans Second Senior Living High-Rise in Manhattan

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) is collaborating with real estate firm Hines on the development of a new high-rise senior living community in the Big Apple.

The two companies announced Friday they closed on an acquisition that will pave the way for the construction of a 17-story senior living and memory care community on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. As planned, the community will have 162 units and come with amenities such as a spa, rooftop garden and a bistro.

Design by SLCE Architects, rendering by ARC Shadow

This marks the Toledo, Ohio-based real estate investment trust’s (REIT) second senior living project with Hines in New York City, with the other being Sunrise at East 56th Street, a 151-unit community set to be managed by Sunrise Senior Living and slated to open in 2020.  SLCE Architects, LLP, the firm that designed Sunrise at East 56th Street, is also designing this project.

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Hines, Welltower and an undisclosed third investor hold equity in the project, and the lot acquisition cost was $61 million, according to a report from Bloomberg. Welltower is one of the largest owners of senior housing in the country, with a portfolio that included 928 senior properties as of Sept. 30.

The new community is aimed at attracting affluent seniors in New York City, where senior housing options are limited, according to Welltower CEO Tom DeRosa.

“The Upper West Side of Manhattan is a uniquely distinct neighborhood with a large population of affluent seniors yet zero supply of modern, purpose built residential care communities,” DeRosa stated in a press release. “This location is in the top percentile of the demand curve for our target households and The Welltower West will offer a seamless extension of this unique neighborhood for our residents.”

Rents for high-end senior living in Manhattan could be eye-popping. The East 56th Street project could have monthly rents as high as $20,000. Welltower declined to comment to Senior Housing News about possible rates at the planned Upper West Side building.

Welltower isn’t the only senior housing company interested in urban markets. Atria Senior Living, for example, announced last month 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 urban metro areas, and Maplewood Senior Living is forging ahead with its Inspir senior housing community on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Additionally, Ventas (NYSE: VTR) in August inked a $194 million deal to buy from Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) a community located in New York City’s Battery Park neighborhood.

Written by Tim Regan

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