Experts Discuss Development and State of the Market at Chicagoland Conference

November 20, 2015

In the midst of a senior housing boom, industry experts gathered to discuss the state of the market at Illinois Real Estate Journal‘s Chicagoland Senior Housing Real Estate Conference held Nov. 12 at the University Club Chicago.

More than 125 professionals attended the event, which began at 8:00 a.m. with keynote speaker Chuck Harry, managing director at National Investment Center (NIC).

David Kennedy, principal at KTGY Architecture + Planning, moderated the Segmented Trends & Solutions in the Senior Housing Market panel, which consisted of speakers: Ghassan Majdalani, energySMART & ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Program; Todd Wiltse, Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects, P.C.; and Bethany Crispin, Leopardo Construction.

Speakers talked about where senior housing development is happening, the different and evolving product types, how the Chicago market compares to other markets, and operation trends and issues impacting bottom line.

04_ChicagoLand_David Kennedy

From left to right: David Kennedy, KTGY Architecture + Planning (moderator); Bethany Crispin, Leopardo Construction; Ghassan Majdalani, energySMART, ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Program; and Todd Wiltse, Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects, P.C.

The State of the Market: Current & Future Outlook Financing and Investing panel was moderated by Ben Firestone, managing director and founding partner of Blueprint Healthcare and Real Estate Advisors. Speakers included: Mark Bultman, GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Service; Aaron D’Costa, Virtus Real Estate Capital; George Mesires, Faegre Baker Daniels, and Martin Mbeteni, Capital One Multifamily Finance.

Speakers shared their input on recent trends, new supply, and any current challenges affecting the market. When Firestone asked those industry challenges are, D’Costa said it was labor. Bultman on the other hand, believes it’s finding skilled nursing as well as the rate environment and pressure of lengths of stay.

And as for what makes a deal good, the state of the market experts had different opinions.

“A good, solid fiscal plan and a good owner you can trust that has a track record,” Bultman said.

“We look at development deals, look at relationships between parties, the developer/architect/operator all have had some relationship with each other in past and it’s not a brand new team coming together,” D’Costa said.

“We look at the property and how its performing but also who owns it, their experience and who operates it,” Mbeteni added.  “The operator is critical in how we structure the deal.”

But as for where prices are going in 2016? They all seemed to agree that prices will be nearly flat, while remaining attractive.