Marriott Corp. today opens Bedford Court, a $30 million senior living community in Silver Spring. But other new developments in the company's massive senior living construction program have been put on hold indefinitely, Marriott acknowledges.
"The slowdown has nothing to do with our commitment to the market. It has to do with bank and financing restraints," said Paul Johnson, the general manager who oversees Marriott's senior living services division.
Despite problems plaguing debt-ridden Marriott Corp., Mr. Johnson predicted that Bedford Court, Marriott's 15th senior living community, appears headed for success.
"We had high hopes but it's extremely successful," Mr. Johnson said of the rental facility, which opened yesterday with 60 percent of its units reserved.
Located on a six-acre site at the corner of Georgia Ave. and International Drive in Silver Spring, Bedford Court will offer a continuum of care and services for its residents. The complex includes 215 one- and two-bedroom independent living apartments, 76 assisted-care apartments and a 43-bed nursing facility.
The monthly charge for an independent apartment -- which includes meals and a variety of services -- ranges from $1,400 to over $3,500, Mr. Johnson said.
At Duff & Phelps in Chicago, analyst Carol Palmer said Marriott remains enthusiastic about its senior care development program but the company has only enough cash to finish the three remaining senior living communities it has underway.
"They're on a very strict cash conservation program," said Ms. Palmer, noting that Marriott has drastically reduced its capital construction program for all facets of the company.
Marriott's Mr. Johnson put a bright face on the situation. "The slowdown is giving us time to pause and refine our program," he said.