Chicago-based Sterling Bay — a real estate firm behind major projects in the Windy City and around the country — is training its sights on senior living. Dave Mazurek has joined Sterling Bay as director of senior living.
This is a new position at Sterling Bay, the company confirmed to Senior Housing News.
Mazurek is no stranger to the senior housing industry. Between 2013 and 2014, he was manager of development and construction at Chicago-based real estate investment trust Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR). In this role, he led capital investment activities for a portfolio of 95 private-pay communities, and he managed development and redevelopment across 48 senior housing projects, according to his LinkedIn profile. Mazurek was not immediately available to comment for this article.
For the last four years, he has been manager of acquisitions at Convexity Properties, also in Chicago. Convexity is the real estate investment arm of principal trading firm DRW. With Convexity, Mazurek was involved in acquiring development and redevelopment sites in major urban markets for mixed-use and senior housing projects.
In Sterling Bay, Mazurek joins a company that is known for high-profile urban development, particularly in its home base of Chicago. And as Sterling Bay has grown in scale over the past several years, the firm has added new service lines, backed by some serious capital. Sterling Bay launched an industrial practice two years ago.
Sterling Bay’s Chicago projects run the gamut from mixed-use developments to corporate headquarters to hotels and health care. They include:
— McDonald’s global headquarters, in a 580,000-square-foot building west of downtown, on a site formerly home to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios
— Google’s Midwest headquarters in the historic Fulton Market neighborhood, in a building that also includes Swift & Sons restaurant and Sandbox Industries
— Ace Hotel’s first Midwest location, also in Fulton Market
— Loyola Medical Center, a ground-up medical office complex that is part of the largest off-campus medical center outpatient facility in Chicago
Far eclipsing these projects in scope is Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards development (pictured above).
Lincoln Yards encompasses more than 50 acres of property on the Chicago River between the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, about four miles northwest of downtown. The proposal for the $6 billion project includes a mix of office, residential, retail, hospitality and entertainment venues, as well as an 11.2-acre park. The Chicago Plan Commission approved the project just last week.
Chicagoans have responded with a mixture of excitement and concern to the proposal, which would dramatically re-shape the city’s north side. On Wednesday, the chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee called for more affordable housing to be added to the plan.
There have not been any plans announced to include senior living as part of Lincoln Yards.
Still, Mazurek joins Sterling Bay at a time when senior living communities are becoming more common in urban settings as well as in mixed-use developments specifically.
These trends are being driven by multiple factors. Aging baby boomers have a desire to live in walkable, intergenerational neighborhoods with easy access to amenities. One example is Lincoln Common in Chicago; Belmont Village is constructing a senior living community as part of this project, which is located just about two miles from the Lincoln Yards site.
Meanwhile, real estate investors — including large developers who previously were focused on other asset classes, such as multifamily or hospitality — are aware of this consumer demand and attracted to the demographics, given the aging U.S. population. And health care services are being increasingly provided in retail settings such as pharmacies; senior living is a natural fit for mixed-use projects that blend health services with more traditional shopping or restaurant tenants.