United Properties to Triple Senior Living Portfolio, Scale Up New Amira Brand

United Properties plans to triple the size of its senior living portfolio by scaling up its new Amira brand, which includes three sub-brands focused on active adult, traditional senior living and co-op senior housing communities.

Not including its 16 open co-ops, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based real estate development and investment firm currently has 13 open or in progress senior living communities under its Amira portfolio. The seven that are currently open to residents carry a 96% average occupancy rate.

The company also recently completed three other communities, with plans to start lease-up soon; and has three others under construction, with more breaking ground in 2022.


United Properties is owned by the Pohlad Companies, which is also based in Minneapolis. The firm invests in and develops office, industrial, retail, mixed-use and senior housing properties, with senior housing making up a little less than half of its current new development activity.

United Properties’ senior housing plans are all centered around its Amira brand, which the company first debuted in August. Going forward, United plans to organize its senior housing portfolio under the Amira umbrella, separating them into three different sub-categories:

— Amira, a portfolio of active adult rental communities formerly operating as ThePOINTE


— Amira Choice, a portfolio of independent living, assisted living and memory care communities formerly known as Cherrywood Pointe

— Applewood Pointe, a portfolio for-sale senior housing cooperative communities

United Properties’ current operating partners include Ebenezer Management Services and Great Lakes Management in Minnesota; Balfour Senior Living in Denver; and Watercrest Senior Living in Florida.

Amira expansion

The Amira portfolio is set to grow even larger as United Properties expands from about 1,100 senior housing units today to around 3,800 units in the next few years. To achieve that pace, the company aims to break ground on an average of about six new projects per year.

One project under construction on the active adult side is Amira Minnetonka, a 186-development in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The six-floor community is setting aside 19 units as affordable, and also offering such amenities as a golf simulator, an outdoor pool and hot tub, pickleball court, community gardens, art and fitness studios, community room and sky lounge. If all goes according to plan, that community will open in 2023.

Rendering of Amira Minnetonka courtesy United Properties

Amira active adult communities typically have three or four full-time employees when fully occupied, with concierge-style services available to residents. United Properties is targeting monthly rates between about $2,500 and $3,500, with unit sizes ranging from about 900 square feet to 1,400 square feet.

With care included, the company’s Amira Choice brand carries average monthly rates of about $4,500 for assisted living residents and roughly $6,000 for memory care residents.

With the shift to Amira, United Properties is seeking to unify its three types of senior housing communities under one brand identity, particularly as it scales up in states such as Minnesota, Colorado, Texas and Florida, according to United Properties Executive Vice President Mark Nelson.

“It just makes sense to have [our communities] under the same umbrella versus a scattered name brand where we have different properties in different markets,” Nelson told Senior Housing News. “It feels more cohesive.”

While some of the firm’s co-op communities have retained their Applewood branding with the shift, including the product type in the Amira umbrella gives United Properties more options to brand co-op communities in the future.

“We want to take some of the brand equity we do have with Applewood and move it forward, but also have some flexibility under the Amira umbrella,” Nelson added.

The Amira brand name is rooted in the Hebrew name Amir, which can mean “treetop” — a nod to United Properties’ longtime oak tree logo.

“We’ve had an oak tree as a symbol of our overall company for decades, creating deep roots through properties,” Nelson said. “We like the tie-in even though that may be obscure.”

Driving United Properties’ overall growth is the fact that the number of Americans age 75 and older is expected to grow to 45 million people in 2040, up from 23 million in 2020 — a number United Properties is keenly aware of. And active adult communities like Amira are thought to be the natural entry point for aging baby boomers in the years to come.

Another reason for the shift to active adult and rental senior housing is that United Properties sees what it does on the co-op side as similar to that sector, with younger, more active residents. And yet another factor helping to fuel the company’s growth on the senior housing side is that its communities are back to pre-Covid average occupancy levels.

“It’s the right time to start doing some new communities,” Nelson said.

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