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Is seniors housing the Gisele Bundchen of CRE? Aegis Living CFO David Eskenazy, Emeritus Senior Living VP Eric Mendelsohn, and R.D. Merrill and Merrill Gardens VP Billy Pettit can hardly contain their enthusiasm. Billy even called it "sexy." Twice.
Aegis Living CFO David Eskenazy, Emeritus Senior Living VP Eric Mendelsohn
Turns out, seniors housing has all the component s of the healthy, fulfilling relationship sought by lenders, brokers, and developers. (Including not being too hard on the eyes, are we right?) "New development is not keeping pace with the demand in senior demographics," David told everyone at CREW Seattle's luncheon at the Washington Athletic Club last week. About 30% of Americans who are 65 today are expected to live to be 90. By 2050, more than 40% of the population will have that life expectancy. The upshot: we'd better find all those people some place to live.
The CREW audience, riveted (except for that fellow). Three of the top 10 assisted living companies in the US are based in the Pacific Northwest. Who has the prettiest buildings? Eric to David: "Your buildings are a lot sexier than ours." Eric adds, "Our customer is someone who drives a Buick. . . . They like style, but they like value." The style-at-the-right-price model has served Emeritus well: during the past six quarters, it's added 180 communities and purchased former competitior Sunwest, Oregon's largest provider of seniors housing.
Merrill and Merrill Gardens VP Billy Pettit
Here's Billy, who in addition to not being too hard on the eyes, will be speaking at our Feb. 22 event at the W Hotel. (Shameless promotion:register here!) Lenders like Berkadia and Prudential and brokers like CBRE and Marcus & Millichap are making themselves known, Eric says. Then there are the REITs—$20B has already been invested, and "operators are standing by," says Billy, who notes that the gap between seniors housing and multifamily living is diminishing. "Seniors who are thinking about moving to Merrill Gardens are looking for many of the same things apartment renters are." Merrill built its first development just outside Monroe in 1993. Today, in-demand locations are in Kirkland and the University District, where seniors are part of the area's intergenerational community and occasionally get invited to frat parties.