Constellation buys Heartlands community BGE unit plans to add assisted-living facility

June 04, 1996|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Constellation Health Services Inc. completed an acquisition of the Heartlands in Ellicott City, the latest effort by the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. subsidiary to expand its retirement community portfolio.

The roughly $11.6 million purchase comes in response to the aging of the U.S. population, a trend that has made senior citizens and baby boomers two of the largest demographic groups in America.

With the purchase, Constellation intends to develop a new $6 million, 65-unit assisted-living facility within the 50-acre Heartlands community, adding to the 164 rental units constructed since 1986.

The new facility will accommodate up to 72 new residents. Currently, 185 people reside at the Heartlands.

"Howard County has an increasing elderly population, and we plan to continue to build within the community to meet their needs," said James W. Jeffcoat, Constellation Health's president. "As opposed to just bricks and mortar, we plan to be very service-oriented."

In addition to the Heartlands, Constellation also is nearing completion on a 15-unit senior living home known as the Rose Residence in Piney Orchard. That development, a 2,500-acre planned community in Anne Arundel County, is being developed by Constellation Real Estate Group Inc., another BGE subsidiary.

The firm also is continuing work on Aspenwood, a community in Silver Spring. In all, Constellation either owns or manages 3,000 senior living units in 24 projects nationwide.

As part of the Heartlands deal, Constellation will assume $9.6 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development bond debt.

But the firm will have plenty of room for future expansion, since more than 25 acres of the community will remain undeveloped after the completion of the new units.

Constellation had been working on the Heartlands purchase from Partners Management Co. for more than two years.

"Elderly housing is a specialty business, and the Heartlands just didn't fit in with the multifamily, moderately priced housing portfolio we've established," said Francis X. Knott, Partners Management's chief executive.

Pub Date: 6/04/96

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