Pathway to Living is facing an uncertain future after parent company Waterton moved to transition all of the operator’s managed communities to other senior living operators.
The companies to take on the properties include Sonata Senior Living, which is in May slated to begin managing one Pathway property in Florida. The community, Azpira of Windermere, is to be rebranded to Sonata Windermere in the coming months, according to Sonata.
Chicago-based commercial real estate investor and operator Waterton is initiating the transitions “due to market conditions and factors,” according to a statement from CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder David Schwartz.
“We have made the decision to transition our Pathway to Living management agreements to third-party managers with sufficient scale to better serve our communities,” Schwartz said in the statement. “We will be fully supporting our Pathway to Living operations teams through this transition so that they can continue to provide exceptional care and service to our residents and their families.”
While Waterton is shifting the entire Pathway portfolio to other operators, it’s unclear what that means for the senior living operating company and its senior housing brands. A representative for Waterton on Wednesday declined to elaborate on Pathway’s future when reached by Senior Housing News.
As of the end of 2022, Waterton’s total holdings spanned about $9.7 billion in real estate assets in more than 20 markets.
The portfolio transitions come a little more than one year after the retirements of longtime CEO and Co-Founder Jerry Finis and COO Maria Oliva; and the appointments of senior living EVP Justin Dickinson and operations leader Jeff Floyd as the company’s new leaders.
Dickinson left his post to rejoin Anthology Senior Living as president less than a year later.
Pathway’s history as a senior living innovator
Over the years and under the leadership of Finis and Oliva, Pathway built a reputation for senior living innovation.
The company started with the development of two communities in Illinois in 1997. While Pathway’s roots were in affordable senior housing, the company later pivoted to focus on private-pay senior living communities.
Over the years, the senior living operator built a portfolio of properties that more recently included different sub-brands serving particular price points. The company took a particular focus on wellness programming and was among the first in the U.S. to begin building wellness centers into communities, according to former COO Oliva.
Pathway also was an early mover in the quest to make senior living communities more affordable for the middle market.
Waterton bought a controlling stake in Pathway to Living in 2019 after having invested in the company for years. The real estate company’s initial investment helped facilitate the operator’s growth outside the Midwest.
In 2021, Pathway nearly doubled its portfolio with the addition of 22 communities as part of a $97 million transaction with real estate investment trust (REIT) Welltower.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and other operating headwinds, other senior living companies have drastically downsized or closed altogether. For example, at the tail end of 2021, Eclipse Senior Living announced it was shutting down operations after pandemic-related distress.
The post Waterton Transitioning All Pathway to Living Management Agreements to New Operators appeared first on Senior Housing News.
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