LCS Development is making moves to accelerate its growth.
Fresh off announcing the hire of Welltower (NYSE: WELL) alum Joe Weisenburger, the development arm of the LCS Family of Companies on Thursday announced a series of personnel moves. They are intended to leverage the organization’s experience and scale, to court new business opportunities in ground-up development and renovating older communities, and to reposition the service line to be more purposeful relative to its clients, Executive Vice President/Senior Managing Director of Development and Real Estate Chuck Murphy told Senior Housing News.
The LCS Family of Companies, which includes operator Life Care Services as well as LCS Development and other business lines, is one of the largest senior living firms in the nation, with 139 rental communities and life plan communities in over 30 states.
The personnel moves include:
– Todd Mathisen and Jason Jorgenson to senior vice president/managing director – development
– Todd Shaw to vice president/development
– J. Ross Nichols to director of project and new business development
Mathieson will lead the growth and execution strategy for LCS’ Delaney portfolio of rental communities, which currently consists of four communities in Texas and a newly opened community in New Jersey. Additionally, LCS is scouting future opportunities to build Delaney communities along the East Coast, and beyond.
Jorgenson will head the development strategy for LCS’ life plan communities, focusing on broadening outreach to new and existing nonprofit communities with campus expansions and repositionings, and leveraging LCS Development’s in-house design and marketing teams to assist with those projects. Additionally, he and Nichols will establish a leadership team with experienced professionals serving LCS’ not-for-profit and institutional capital partners.
Shaw will assume responsibility for directing the master planning process for life plan communities – he was most recently the project manager for Broadview at Purchase College, a $320 million, 220-unit independent living community on the campus of Purchase College in New York. Additionally, he will lead the new development, expansion, and repositioning projects for other Life Plan Communities.
Nichols will leverage his experience working with clients and operating partners in life plan community design, development and expansions to identify and attract new clients. He will work with Weisenburger, who is joining LCS as vice president, senior director of business development, on July 6.
Murphy, who joined LCS Development in February 2020, was hired in part because of his broad experience in real estate investment and development. He spent his first six months studying LCS’ business model to get a better understanding of how the company’s client base differs from other real estate asset classes, he told SHN.
From there, he was able to identify leaders within the LCS Development hierarchy best suited to execute the new plan.
The moves effectively streamline operations and delegate responsibilities based on strengths. Mathisen and Jorgenson co-led LCS’ Delaney line in recent years. Mathisen’s industry relationships will be essential in expanding the brand into new markets, while Jorgenson’s experience and relationships with life plan community owners and stakeholders will allow him to focus on that service line, while supporting Mathisen and the Delaney team.
“The nature of decision making [among various clients] is different, versus our own work that we do with our institutional partners. It’s about understanding those on the team that could best serve those needs,” Murphy said.
He envisions significant potential for capitalizing on repositioning and expansion opportunities. He estimates that LCS Development averages between 20 and 30 ongoing repositionings at any given time.
Life plan community expansions are particularly ripe with opportunity. One of LCS’ main capital partners, Healthpeak Properties (NYSE: PEAK), sees untapped potential in its portfolio of continuing care retirement communities – LCS manages 13 for the Denver-based health care REIT.
Healthpeak identified at least 100 acres on five campuses ripe for expansion and completed initial planning and underwriting to determine courses of action.
Murphy hopes that Weisenburger and Nichols can bring new clients to the fold, and to focus more on clients instead of projects.
“The market has become quite sophisticated in terms of how developers and owners of these communities provide for their residents,” he said.
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