Sunrise Acquires Lake County Site for Seniors Housing Project

Sunrise Senior Living has acquired a 7.7-acre parcel of land in Mundelein, Ill., for the future development of a senior housing project. The land traded for about $4.5 million. Sunrise currently operates 441 senior living communities in various parts of the world, largely assisted living with dementia care but also independent living and continuing care retirement centers. As of the end of the first quarter of 2008, the company had 40 properties under construction–about $1 billion worth–with capacity for an additional 5,300 residents. According to Sunrise, it expects to begin construction on about another 3,200 to 3,400 units in North America and the United Kingdom during the remainder of 2008. As yet, McLean, Va.-based Sunrise hasn’t unveiled specific plans for the Lake County site, but it will likely be an assisted living property. “Assisted living with memory care have been the most successful communities in our portfolio,” said Paul Klaassen, co-founder & CEO of Sunrise, during a conference call earlier this month. “It serves a need-driven segment of the market, and produces high customer satisfaction.” He also said that Sunrise has identified over 350 zip codes in North America, primarily in the 30 largest metro markets, in which the company wants to build assisted living plus memory care properties. Each such property costs roughly $25 million to develop. “Clearly, these are the most turbulent capital markets in years,” Klaassen (pictured) added, but also noted an upside of current market conditions for companies such as Sunrise. “The positive aspect of a tight credit market is that it ensures that only well-capitalized and well-conceived projects by experienced providers will get funding, which in turn serves as a barrier to entry, and protects against overbuilding,” he said. Rosemont, Ill.-based Realty Partners/TCN Worldwide partners Phil Rosenberg and Ed Brandt, along with associate vice president Mike Nolan, represented Sunrise in the Mundelein deal, as well as the seller of the property, Ferris Homes.