Real estate investment trust Welltower and international real estate firm Hines plan to build a second urban senior living community in Manhattan, on Upper West Side property on which they have closed, the two companies announced Friday.
The existing commercial structures at 2330 Broadway at 85th Street will be demolished to make way for construction of a 140,000-square-foot, 17-story assisted living and memory care building that Welltower CEO Tom DeRosa called The Welltower West.
“The Upper West Side of Manhattan is a uniquely distinct neighborhood with a large population of affluent seniors yet zero supply of modern, purpose-built residential care communities,” DeRosa said. “This location is in the top percentile of the demand curve for our target households, and The Welltower West will offer a seamless extension of this unique neighborhood for our residents.”
Eighty percent of baby boomers who live in large cities want to keep living there after they turn 80 — either in their current homes or someplace nearby, according to the results of a 2017 survey commissioned by the REIT.
The Upper West Side project is the second Manhattan senior living development site for the joint venture partnership of Welltower, Hines and a passive institutional investor. In 2016, Welltower and Hines announced the acquisition of a site at 139 East 56th St. as the first new purpose-built Manhattan development aimed at addressing New York’s aging demographics and underserved senior population.
That 130,000-square-foot facility, named Sunrise at East 56th Street, will top out at 16 stories at the end of January and open for assisted living and memory care residents in early 2020. DeRosa said during Welltower’s third-quarter earnings call that those attending Welltower’s Investor Day on Dec. 4 will be able to tour the building.
“We are proud to build on our partnership with Welltower to identify and secure excellent urban sites for the creation of extraordinary senior living communities,” Hines Senior Managing Director Tommy Craig said.
The new building will be designed by SLCE Architects, which also designed Sunrise at East 56th Street. The design is not finalized but will complement and integrate with the surrounding neighborhood, according to the developer.
Manhattan and other urban markets are of increasing interest to some senior housing operators and investors.
During the recent earnings call, DeRosa said that Atria Senior Living’s recently announced $3 billion joint venture with Related Companies through which two to three luxury senior living communities are expected to be developed and operated in urban areas over the next five years “clearly validates a thesis that we’ve been articulating for a few years” about the need for such senior housing.
During Ventas’ recent third-quarter earnings call, CEO Debra Cafaro also said her REIT is “firmly establishing our leadership in the high-end senior living Manhattan market” with the purchase of a former Brookdale Senior Living independent living community, Brookdale Battery Park, for $194 million.