Sports “super agent” David Falk has founded a senior living development and operating company, LifeStar Living, that will be led by industry veteran Joel Anderson.
Falk — famous for being Michael Jordan’s agent, representing a roster of other superstars such as Patrick Ewing and Dominique Wilkins, and producing the movie Space Jam — has been an active investor in a variety of businesses, including senior living. Now, he has founded LifeStar Living; he will serve as chairman of the board and tapped Anderson as managing director. The company will officially launch on July 6.
“Joel’s track record and reputation will make an immediate impact on our operations and promote our future success,” Falk said in a press release.
Anderson has been active in senior living for 25 years, in a variety of roles, and he told Senior Housing News that he first worked with Falk in a consulting capacity.
Since 2015, Anderson has been CEO of Village On The Isle, a life plan community near Sarasota, Florida. During Anderson’s tenure, he led a $100 million campus renovation and expansion project. He is now transitioning out of that job, as Village On The Isle is close to naming his successor, he told SHN. Anderson also serves as chairman of LeadingAge Florida.
Falk currently has investments in three greenfield projects, and LifeStar will serve a supervisory asset management role for these, as some of them already have operators in place, Anderson said. Those projects are located in Boca Raton, Florida; Lady Lake, Florida; and the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.
Going forward, LifeStar Living will be an integrated development and operating company, and is open to taking third-party management contracts as well, according to Anderson.
The plan is for LifeStar to focus on markets in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest, with three different types of communities being contemplated, Anderson told SHN. One is a continuum of care model designed for urban locations, without skilled nursing or entrance fees, and potentially including retail or other mixed-use components. Another model is a coastal, Mediterranean-influenced design similar to Falk’s existing projects in Florida. And LifeStar is also contemplating a middle-market model to tap into that huge projected demand.
Creating a successful middle-market community is a “difficult puzzle,” Anderson acknowledged. To solve that puzzle, he believes that careful market selection is key, as well as efficient designs and discipline to keep costs in check. He has seen many properties become overleveraged, with one particular problem being owners and operators underestimating ongoing capital expenditures.
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“You can’t have cost creep over time that compromises pricing,” he said.
Currently, LifeStar has six projects “in the basket” and should have around 15 staff members within six to eight months, according to Anderson. So, the company will have the financial resources and backing as well as the talent to scale quickly, he said.
LifeStar Living is launching during a challenging and uncertain time for the senior living industry, due to Covid-19.
However, Anderson believes that savvy operators are learning how to navigate through current challenges, and he anticipates that the pandemic could create the opportunity for growth through acquisition.
“I definitely feel like it’s a great opportunity for us to be able to create a name for ourselves,” he said.