Ziegler shares insights into large-campus CCRCs

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Many large-campus continuing care retirement / life plan communities — those with at least 500 independent living units on the same campus — already have been built out through expansions over the years. Several communities, however, will continue to expand on existing or adjacent land to increase their total number of units, according to Lisa McCracken, senior vice president of senior living research and development for Ziegler, writing in the investment bank's April 25 Z-News newsletter.

“A number of providers have scaled back the size of their new developments and are building out in phases,” she said. “Even the newest Erickson Community, Lantern Hill in New Jersey, is a smaller-scale community compared to its existing portfolio.”

Two large, for-profit communities are in the planning stages, both with more than 800 total units, McCracken said. Cresswind Charlotte in North Carolina and Peachtree Hills Place in Atlanta both plan to offer 55+ housing, independent living and skilled nursing.

Large-campus CCRCs “are few in number but clearly significant in impact,” she said. Campuses range from 50 to more than 2,000 acres and benefit from scale, growth opportunities and self-sufficiency.

The large campuses are prominent in the same metropolitan statistical areas in which CCRCs in general are located, McCracken said. Eighty-one of such properties are located in the largest 30 MSAs. Philadelphia tops the list, with 10 large campuses, and Chicago comes in second place, with seven.

Other characteristics of large-campus CCRCs, according to the article:

  • Almost 85% are sponsored by not-for-profit organizations, and almost 50% are sponsored by a faith-based organization.
  • Sixty-five percent are part of a multi-site organization.
  • National Senior Campuses, managed by Erickson Living, and Brookdale Senior Living have the largest number of large-campus communities.
  • About 85% of the communities have entry fee contracts as opposed to being rental CCRCs.

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