Hines, Welltower Tap Sunrise Senior Living for NYC Project

Sunrise Senior Living was chosen to operate an upcoming senior living community under development by Welltower and Hines in Midtown Manhattan.
A rendering of the upcoming senior living community at 139 E. 56th St., New York.

A rendering of the upcoming senior living community at 139 E. 56th St., New York.

McLean, Va. & Toledo, Ohio—On the heels of its $1.1 billion acquisition of a West Coast senior housing portfolio, Welltower is moving to the East Coast with a new senior living community in Midtown Manhattan.

As MHN reported in April, Welltower is collaborating with Hines to develop the community at the northeast corner of 56th Street and Lexington Avenue, and has chosen long-time operating partner Sunrise Senior Living to manage the property.

The community is planned for a late-2019 opening and will promote wellness for seniors needing high-quality assisted living and memory care services.

“We believe Sunrise is an ideal partner for us to work with to revolutionize the concept of senior living and meet the needs of the underserved aging population on the island of Manhattan,” said Thomas DeRosa, CEO, Welltower. “Leveraging Sunrise’s world-class memory care programming and services, this new community will distinctively benefit those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, including residents in the early stages of memory loss. Further, Sunrise’s approach to care will help ensure all residents receive highly individualized service.”

With 35 years of experience in the field, Sunrise serves residents at about 30 communities in the New York City metro area. Welltower’s portfolio comprises 72 senior housing communities in the New York Tri-State area, including properties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“This purpose-built residence will be the first of its kind and will allow seniors to continue to call Manhattan home while receiving the high-quality care they need,” said Chris Winkle, CEO of Sunrise.

Despite some concerns of overbuilding in the senior housing market, Manhattan in particular is facing a senior housing shortage, with the city’s population of those 60 and older expected to make up one in five New Yorkers by the year 2030, according to the New York City Department of Aging. The few senior living communities in Manhattan have fewer than 75 beds that are fully licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide assisted living and memory care facilities.

“Current availability of assisted living on the island is five times less than the national average,” Barbara Montresor, senior vice president of communications for Welltower, told MHN. “Demographic trends also point to significant growth in the island’s elderly population.”

The 15-story building will include 125,000 square feet of living space with large windows and outdoor living spaces. Residential units will begin at the third floor and continue to the 14th floor, with community spaces interspersed throughout the floors. Outdoor living spaces will be on floors 4, 11 and 15, with landscaped terraces and gardens. There will also be ground-level retail and a community space on the second floor.

Sunrise, Welltower and Hines are currently collaborating on the property’s design, which will include sensory elements for those with memory loss and comfortable, safe spaces for residents. SLCE Architects LLP is the designer for the project.

Stephen Meringoff and Dennis Riese, the owners of the two adjacent properties that comprise the site, joined together and engaged Eastern Consolidated to represent them in the $115 million sale of the property to the partners, DNAInfo reported.