An artist’s rendering of Inspir Carnegie Hill.

Maplewood Senior Living in January began paying annual rent of $21 million on the Inspir Carnegie Hill luxury senior living community in Manhattan, and the property is expected to open at the end of the first quarter, Omega Healthcare Investors executives said Thursday.

Omega expects that the property will have deposits on 40% to 50% of the units by the time the assisted living and memory care community opens, Chief Corporate Development Officer Steven Insoft said during the real estate investment trust’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “As you get closer to the opening, not only do people become a lot more interested in putting deposits down; the likelihood of those deposits translating to leases is significantly higher,” he said. 

The pre-leasing rate is similar to what the REIT has seen with suburban properties, Insoft said. The project is expected to cost approximately $285 million, including accrued rent, he added.

As for other projects with Maplewood, which has 15 senior living communities, Insoft said, “We are moving dirt on a site in Princeton, NJ, right now, that we closed in the middle of fourth quarter.”

Omega typically is considering four to six opportunities with Maplewood at any given time, although not all of them “translate into transactions,” he said. The company is focused on markets in the northeastern United States, including metropolitan New York, he added.

Presidential election

In answer to an analyst’s question, Omega CEO Taylor Pickett said it’s too early to predict the outcome that this fall’s presidential election will have on long-term care, but at this point, he isn’t expecting major changes.

“I think if the current administration stays in place, you’ll just see a continuation of what we’ve seen, which is improvements on the regulatory front and stability around the business,” he said.

The Medicaid block grant program announced last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, he said, is aimed at the under-65 population “and has carved out long-term care services, so by definition, that proposal doesn’t impact our business, or if it does, it’s very, very minimal.” (Organizations including the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living, Argentum and LeadingAge, however, have expressed concerns that the program could limit state resources for long-term care.)

If a Democrat is the next president, Pickett said, “the early commentary, from my perspective around that is, there’s no focus on our business as one that would have significant changes. ‘Medicare for All’ just is just further expansion of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act didn’t impact us.”

For more coverage of the earnings call, see sister publication McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.