Disruption is one word that describes Argentum’s list of 150 largest senior living providers for 2021.
Nearly 30 providers moved up or down by no less than ten positions or have become new entrants due to divestitures and acquisitions across the sector.
With its acquisition of Holiday Retirement, Atria Senior Living moved from No. 3 on the Argentum rankings to No. 4, making the company even more significant. Atria Senior Living ranked seventh in 2020 and fourth this year.
630,130 total housing units were included in the list produced by the industry association and real estate finance company Lument. As of December 31, 2020, this data represents the size of organizations.
From last year, the top three providers are the same. Despite the company’s recent restructuring and dispositions under Cindy Baier’s leadership, Brookdale Senior Living retained its position as the largest senior living operator. In total, Brookdale managed 726 properties and 59,911 units, down nearly 12% from 2020.
The second-largest provider is LCS in Des Moines, Iowa, with 35,397 total units, followed by Holiday in Winter Park, Florida, with 29,111 total units.
Also on this list, Brookdale has 34,489 assisted living units and 9,796 memory care units. There are 95 continuing care retirement community (CCRC) campuses managed by Holiday, the largest independent living provider with 28,695 units.
Next year’s top three providers will almost certainly be different. After Atria announced last week that it would take over Holiday Retirement’s management operations, the company will likely surpass LCS in the race for our top spot. Before the Holiday deal, Holiday’s portfolio totaled 25,000 units.
Taking the number 10 spot, Watermark Retirement Communities knocked Capital Senior Living from the list.
As a result of Credi-19, several providers saw their scale increase last year. 17 providers rose 10 or more spots from the ranking, and 9 fell.
The most significant jump was made by Wickshire Senior Living. This year, Brentwood, a Tennessee-based provider, climbed 53 spots to 87th in the rankings. In addition to the 10 communities added during the pandemic, 16 were added last year.
Casey Byrnes, executive vice president of strategic growth for Wickshire, told Senior Housing News that the company hopes to expand its portfolio to 60 communities over several years.
“We are exploring development opportunities as well, even though it may mainly be through acquisitions,” she said.
By comparison, the company dropped 12 positions from last year’s ranking to 58th this year. In addition to strong partners and a targeted growth strategy in the northeast U.S., Stoller also attributes his company’s success to value-added acquisitions.
He added, “We are also constantly constructing and developing, so construction is also a part of our growth.”
Lloyd Jones places 150th on the list with its 228 independent living spaces and 72 assisted living apartments. Although its active adult communities fall under the 55-plus age restriction, the firm entered the 115th spot on the list if its portfolio of 55-plus communities had been considered.
The report’s authors noted that there is a challenge to define active adult forms of senior housing.
“Although there were regulatory boundaries regarding the age restrictions and offered services, the market strength and innovations for 55+ senior communities continued throughout the pandemic,” the report said.
The health care industry’s real estate investment trusts (REITs) also influenced the list this year, as illustrated by two of the largest REITs operating in the long-term care space.
In addition to its 15 CCRCs — 13 of which are operated by LCS — Healthpeak Properties successfully divested its rental senior housing portfolio to focus on high-growth life science and medical office real estate.
Omega Healthcare and Welltower Investors are among the buyers of Denver-based REIT. Several operators of these properties, including Atria, Aegis Living, Sunrise Senior Living, Capital Senior Living, and LCS.
Discovery Senior Living was able to expand as well as a result of Healthpeak’s exit. The Discovery network acquired 16 former Healthpeak properties earlier this year, increasing its number to more than 11,000 units, making it one of the top 10 of the ratings in the U.S.
Welltower’s growth has fueled recent expansion for some providers. Through a deal with the Toledo, OH-based REIT, Pathway to Living has recently added 22 communities to its portfolio.
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