Operator English Meadows Pursues Expansion Plans, Strikes Sale-Leaseback with LTC

English Meadows Senior Living is in growth mode and has gotten off to a quick start striking deals in 2019.

Last week, the Christianburg, Virginia-based owner-operator acquired Mountainside Senior Living Communities, an affordable assisted living and memory care community in Crozet, Virginia.

On Monday, Westlake Village, California-based health care real estate investment trust (REIT) LTC Properties announced it entered into a $17 million sale-leaseback agreement with English Meadows for English Meadows Abingdon, a 74-unit assisted living and memory care community in Abingdon, Virginia. English Meadows will retain a 5% ownership stake in, and continue operating, the property.

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Since its 2008 founding, Christianburg-based English Meadows has amassed an eight-property portfolio, prior to the Mountainside acquisition, with 400 employees serving 500 residents. And the company has a healthy deal pipeline in the works, English Meadows Director of Finance/Acquisitions Mike Lambertson told Senior Housing News.

Primed for growth

The English Meadows Abingdon deal was one where the interests of the two parties were in harmony, LTC Properties EVP and Chief Investment Officer Clint Malin told SHN. LTC looks to partner with regionally-based operators like English Meadows, with a sound understanding of market dynamics and stabilized operations, on a clear growth-oriented trajectory.

“That combination, along with a newer building product, were the drivers behind the deal,” Malin said.

English Meadows wants to expand its mid-Atlantic footprint, Lambertson said. The firm is pursuing acquisition opportunities in Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia, is negotiating sale-leasebacks with two more properties in its existing portfolio, and recently completed renovations on three other campuses.

The Mountainside deal holds plenty of upside, as well. The property currently has 76 beds, is licensed for a maximum 107 beds, and added a memory care unit in 2017. English Meadows is planning improvements to the property and will add staff as it installs operational efficiencies and improves occupancy.

The existing units are split between private pay and affordable allotments, an operational model which will stay in place under the terms of the sale, Lambertson said.

“As long as the underlying [affordable] financing is in place, we will abide by [the terms],” Lambertson said.

Eventually, though English Meadows plans to shift Mountainside to a pure private-pay model, which would align it with the rest of the company’s portfolio.

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