Welltower Inc.WELL recently announced that it has partnered with developer company Hines for building the team's second project - a luxury senior living facility - at the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Notably, the companies have acquired a development site at 2330 Broadway, at the corner of 85 th Street, for $61 million. The venture plans to demolish the existing on-site commercial structures to build a top-class 17-story senior living and memory care community, spanning 140,000 square feet of space.
Both companies are optimistic on the wave of demand coming from seniors who want luxury homes in Manhattan and are also willing to pay a higher price for it. In fact, another senior living facility is in the works by the same partnership at 139 East 56 th Street. The venture acquired a development site in 2016 to built a 130,000-square-foot facility. The 16-story property, Sunrise, is anticipated to open in early 2020.
Per Welltower management, the area is a strategic location for developing residential care communities with significant presence of wealthy seniors. Furthermore, with negligible supply of modern assisted-living communities in the area, the company can lever on this opportunity, as well as enjoy high occupancy at its properties.
"We are proud to build on our partnership with Welltower to identify and secure excellent urban sites for the creation of extraordinary senior living communities," noted Tommy Craig, senior managing director of Hines.
Notably, the national healthcare expenditure is projected to increase in the coming years, with senior citizens incurring higher medical expenses as against the average population. Therefore, in the wake of retiring baby boomers, we expect Welltower to benefit from this trend. Additionally, such efforts to strengthen its senior housing portfolio in strategic location bode well.
Also, in the past six months, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has rallied 25.2% compared with the industry 's 4.1% growth.
However, rising interest rate is a concern for Welltower as the company has substantial exposure to long-term leased assets. This also escalates the cost of financing acquisitions.
Stocks to Consider
A few better-ranked stocks from the REIT space are Iron Mountain Incorporated IRM , Boston Properties, Inc. BXP and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. ARE . All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Iron Mountain's funds from operations (FFO) per share estimates for 2018 remained unchanged at $2.13 in 30 days' time. The stock has gained 3% in a month's time.
Boston Properties' Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 FFO per share has been revised upward marginally to $6.38 in the last month. Its shares have rallied 7.2% over the past month.
Alexandria's Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year FFO per share remained unchanged at $6.61 in the last month. Its shares have climbed 2.8% in the past month.
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