14 senior communities are sold by Marriott

Brighton Gardens deal with Wolverine

Housing for the elderly

April 29, 2000|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc. announced yesterday that it has sold 14 Brighton Gardens assisted-living communities to Dallas-based Wolverine Equities Co. for about $194 million in cash.

Marriott will continue to operate the 14 communities, including ones in Bethesda and Columbia, under agreements with an unidentified third party, which is leasing the communities from Wolverine.

"The sale reaffirms Marriott's strategy to sell company-developed assisted-living communities while retaining long-term management agreements," said Paul E. Johnson Jr., president of Marriott Senior Living Services.

The other Brighton Gardens facilities being sold are located in Greensboro, N.C.; Northville, Mich.; Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio; Wheaton and St. Charles, Ill.; Florham Park and West Orange, N.J.; Dunwoody, Ga.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; and Tampa, Fla.

Those senior facilities offer residential housing, meal service and housekeeping along with social, cultural and educational programs.

Wolverine Equities is an investment affiliate of the Staubach Company, based in Dallas, and provides equity for domestic and international long-term lease financing to high credit tenants.

"This, for us, is primarily viewed as a structured investment in a long-term financing," said Brant Bryan, president of Staubach Financial Services and vice president of Wolverine Equities. "Marriott's good name, reputation and ability is central to this transaction and, to us, is as important as the particulars of the real estate."

Wolverine has done $2 billion of this type of financing in the past three years, Bryan said.

Flat quarter

Marriott, the country's largest hotel operator, posted essentially flat earnings for the quarter that ended March 31.

But company executives said recently that the company is on track to meet its new business-development goals for the year with the planned opening of the 2,000th hotel and the 150th senior-living community.

Marriott International is the largest operator of quality-tier, senior-living communities in the United states.

It operates 146 full-service and assisted-living communities, with more than 25,000 units.

The senior-living segment, which generates about 7 percent of revenue with assisted- and independent-living communities, showed 24 percent sales growth for the last quarter.

But start-up costs for new communities kept profit flat.

Glut led to cancellations

Marriott canceled some of its senior-living projects last year after a glut of facilities made it difficult to fill such housing.

Marriott shares rose 18.75 cents to $32 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

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