Vitality Senior Living is undergoing a company-wide refresh, with an exclusive management agreement with YourLife as some of the first evidence of what might be in store for the future.
“We think third-party management is a good place to start, and people are looking for good operators,” Chris Guay, president of Vitality, told Senior Housing News. “It’s an exciting time for us. We kind of relaunched the company, in a way.”
The Franklin, Tennessee-based provider recently reached an agreement to manage five senior living communities in Florida for YourLife Senior Living, an affiliate company of the Olson Land Partners Portfolio. One of those communities, YourLife of Pensacola, opened about a year and a half ago, while the other four are currently under construction or in development.
YourLife of Pensacola, as well as four of the planned projects, are freestanding memory care communities with between 80 and 100 units. Another planned project, slated to open in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is an assisted living and memory care community with 225 apartments.
Vitality is on track to oversee eight total senior living properties in Texas and Florida by the end of 2019. And, going forward, Vitality will exclusively manage new YourLife’s properties in Florida as that company develops them.
“[Rick Olson, president and CEO of Olson Land Partners] was looking to align with a smaller regional operator, and we played that part,” Guay told Senior Housing News. “And the properties he’s building, they’re fantastic. They’re in great markets, and he’s building really high-end stuff.”
The management agreement is somewhat of a change in direction for Vitality, which previously planned to develop its own senior living projects with capital partner West Partners, Guay said. But those plans changed after West Partners agreed to sell its nine WESTliving communities in California, Arizona and Washington to Irvine, California-based MBK Senior Living for $382 million.
Guay previously served as northeast division president for Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), where he oversaw 275 communities across 18 states. Before that, he was a senior executive with Emeritus Corp., where he led the company’s Nurse on Call acquisition. Still, Guay doesn’t want to repeat all of the steps he took at either company.
“I don’t want to be Brookdale and Emeritus again,” he said. “Our goal and mission is to be really good at what we do, and limit it to the point where we can control culture, control mission, control the opportunity, and also have a very strong relationship with our owners.”
Looking ahead, Vitality’s immediate goal is to find a small handful of operating partners who align with its mission and values. Then, the company hopes to begin investing in and developing its own projects within a period of about five years.
“I don’t want to be a gun for hire, and I don’t want to be the person who takes every project that comes their way,” Guay explained. “We want to make sure we pick communities that we have opportunity with.”
Written by Tim Regan
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