Watermark, Hines Hope for Canyon Ranch Partnership on Senior Living Projects

Senior living provider Watermark Retirement Communities and real estate development firm Hines are teaming up on senior housing projects — and would like to involve wellness pioneer Canyon Ranch as well. 

The three companies were pursuing a highrise project in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston. That proposed 20-story tower met with pushback from area homeowners, the Houston Chronicle reported in June.

The Tanglewood project is not moving forward, but Watermark and Hines are still eyeing opportunities to team up with Canyon Ranch.

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“A Tanglewood project is not currently in the works but we do hope to find a way for all three firms to work together on future senior living communities,” Watermark Chairman David Freshwater told Senior Housing News.

Hines Director of Health Care and Senior Living Ryan Pritchard echoed that sentiment.

“Hines doesn’t have any current pursuits or projects with Canyon Ranch at this time,” he told SHN. “That said, we hope to work with them at some point in the future.”

Canyon Ranch in large measure defined the concept of whole-person wellness when it opened its first destination resort spa in 1979 in Tucson, Arizona. Earlier this year, the company announced its intentions to create a senior living brand, likely in partnership with an established operator.

“We believe there is a future consumer interested in a different product that is right around the corner,” Gary Milner, Canyon Ranch Executive Vice President – Development, At Sea and Adult Living, said at Senior Housing News’ BUILD event earlier this year. “By the time they are ready to enter the market, the product will arrive. We’re placing our bet on the consumer of tomorrow.”

Watermark — which operates a portfolio of about 60 communities across 21 states — appears to be a logical choice to partner with Canyon Ranch. Watermark’s headquarters is just about 15 miles away from Canyon Ranch Tucson. Furthermore, its Hacienda at the Canyon development project is just three miles from Canyon Ranch, and will feature a new “integrative wellness model.”

Also consider that Dallas-based developer Silverstone is working with Watermark on a project pipeline in the Washington, D.C. area. Silverstone partner John Goff is also chairman of Crescent Real Estate Equities, which owns Canyon Ranch.

While Canyon Ranch brings a premium wellness offering to senior living, Houston-based Hines brings significant development firepower to the sector.

The firm has about $111 billion in assets under management. It has partnered with Orlando, Florida-based Sentio Investments to make senior living acquisitions and teamed up with Toledo, Ohio-based real estate investment trust Welltower on two high-profile developments in Manhattan. 

Most recently, Hines announced a development pipeline of senior living focused on the U.S. Southwest, with Watermark and Denver-based MorningStar Senior Living as operators and joint venture partners. The first two projects are slated for Houston.

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