Charlestown buildings sold to residents' board $253 million deal comes earlier than planned

Retirement care

January 21, 1998|By Mark Ribbing | Mark Ribbing,SUN STAFF

Senior Campus Living Inc. has sold the residential buildings at Charlestown Retirement Community of Catonsville to a board representing the community's 2,500 residents.

The board of Charlestown Community Inc. paid $253 million to finance the real estate purchase. Senior Campus Living will continue to manage the 110-acre community and will keep its corporate headquarters there.

L. Patrick Deering, the board's chairman, said, "Everything will continue on the same basis as it has before. The only difference is that the residents will no longer be paying any rent to SCL or any interest on mortgage payments. I feel very pleased. We think it's a magnificent transaction."

Deering said there would be no changes in policy or personnel as a result of the transfer. Charlestown has 1,200 employees.

The transfer of the property to the Charlestown Community board was initially planned to take place in 2003. John C. Erickson, chief executive officer of Senior Campus Living, said the deal took place five years early because the community had already attained healthy cash reserves and bond market interest rates have fallen to unusually low levels.

Erickson said the savings on interest rates alone have probably produced a $15 million windfall for the community, which Senior Campus Living founded in 1983.

"It's a win for everybody," he said.

For its part, Senior Campus Living gets an influx of cash a few years earlier than expected. The money will come in handy for a company that is seeking to expand.

In addition to Charlestown, the company operates the 1,700-resident Oak Crest Village in Parkville and an 800-resident facility in Michigan. It is developing two more large retirement communities in Virginia and New Jersey and is scouting for new locations in Maryland, New Jersey, central Pennsylvania and Boston.

The purchase was concluded with a $66 million bond issuance to cover the remaining cost of Charlestown's facilities.

The rest of the $253 million purchase price is made up of residents' past mortgage payments to Senior Campus Living, which are now worth more than $187 million.

Pub Date: 1/21/98

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