Omega Supports Maplewood Growth, Questions $5 Billion Pipeline

July 27, 2017, Elizabeth Jakaitis, Senior Housing News - Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE: OHI) expressed faith in one of its senior living partners during its latest earnings call—but also expressed some apparent reservations with respect to that company’s growth plans.  Omega has conveyed interest in backing Maplewood Senior Living’s large growth plans over the next several years.

However, executives of the Hunt Vally, Maryland-based real estate investment trust (REIT) said on Thursday’s second quarter 2017 earnings call that they doubted that it would reach the $5 billion sum in capital investments that Maplewood CEO Gregory Smith suggested to Senior Housing News last week.

Maplewood, based in Westport, Connecticut, broke ground on Inspīr Manhattan, a luxury highrise community, earlier this summer.  It is the first of a series of Inspīr communities that Smith plans to develop.

Omega is the capital partner on the project, having acquired the real estate for $111.7 million.  Omega also will serve as the capital partner on other Inspīr projects going forward, Smith told SHN.

“I think whether [Smith] is really going to do $5 billion has got a little question mark around it, but we think [Inspīr Manhattan] is going to be a home run,” said Taylor Pickett, Omega president and CEO.  “Everything we’ve done with [Maplewood] to date, the 13 facilities we have that are active, all perform beyond planned.  If we can find more opportunities with [Smith], we’re going to take advantage of it. I think $5 billion would be pretty tough.”

Smith responded to SHN’s request for comment, acknowledging that his plans for growth are bold, but worthwhile.

“I was on the call myself and appreciate all of the support that Omega has given us,” said Smith.  “I agree with Taylor.  As I said in Senior Housing News, ‘It may seem like we have lofty ambitions…’  Our goals may be big, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue them and I know when we do, that Omega will be right by our side.”

Smith recently told SHN that he plans to roll out at least 10 more Inspīr communities in the next five years.  Maplewood and its development partners have already identified several potential locations in the U.S, and have set their sights on cities in Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia for future developments.

“We think about [Maplewood] as our permanent partner,” said Pickett.  “Greg Smith is an ambitious guy and he likes to look at a lot of things.  We feel great about him as a partner for us, so we will look at everything he’s interested in.”