Atlas Senior Living to Manage 7 Former Brookdale Communities

The year is almost over, but Atlas Senior Living isn’t done with its 2019 growth just yet.

The Birmingham, Alabama-based senior living provider announced Monday that it’s set to take over operations for seven former Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) communities totaling 425 units in Florida and Georgia.

Atlas on Dec. 1 closed on the first four communities in Clermont, Ocoee, Oviedo, Florida; with the remaining four in Macon, Woodstock and Lithia Springs, Georgia, set to close on Dec. 15. The newly inked third-party management contract will grow Atlas’ total senior housing portfolio to 24 communities in six states.

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The deal represents yet another growth spurt for the rapidly expanding provider. Since the beginning of this year, Atlas has added 13 communities to its portfolio. The company also has three communities under development in Texas, Georgia and Florida.

The former Brookdale communities are owned by a large institutional owner of senior housing properties, according to Atlas Senior Living President and CEO Scott Goldberg — although he declined to identify the owner when reached by Senior Housing News.

“We have a lot of respect for who they are as a company,” Goldberg told SHN, referring to the company that owns the communities. “For us, it was nice to be associated with them.”

Atlas plans to revamp the communities by implementing its signature programs, which include services for residents like Freedom Dining, The Academy and SPIRIT memory care. Some of the communities will also get a significant facelift in the form of capital expenditure (CapEx) spending from the institutional owner.

This is the most significant new third-party management deal in Atlas’ history as a company, Goldberg said. Prior to taking on the seven former Brookdale communities, the company had only one community under third-party management.

“We’ve said no to the third-party deals before,” Goldberg added. “One of the reasons this one caught our attention was, we felt like the partner was a good partner to have, and they share a lot of the same values and goals that we have as a company.”

Atlas also has a deep knowledge base of these particular communities, and the markets in which they’re located. And, Atlas COO Wyman Hamilton is a senior housing industry veteran who spent eight years at Brookdale.

“We have several key corporate leaders who, in their previous life before Atlas, either worked in these markets with or near these communities,” Goldberg said. “We think they’re great communities, we think they’re great markets, and we’re happy to be part of it.”

Looking forward, Atlas plans to keep growing, though perhaps not at the same pace and not in the same way. The company isn’t actively pursuing more third-party management deals, and is instead focused more on acquisitions and some development for the year ahead.

“We are actively pursuing acquisition opportunities and actively pursuing development opportunities … but I’m not as bullish on development in 2020 as I am on acquisitions,” Goldberg said. “I’m not sure you’ll see 2019 activity in 2020, but one attractive portfolio with several communities can move the needle.”

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