April 11, 2022

Monarch Soars

Max Ferentinos

Monarch Communities has bolstered its executive team and moved the company’s headquarters as it looks to expand its relationship with Welltower (NYSE: WELL).

The vertically integrated senior living company moved its headquarters to a site in the Baltimore suburb of White Marsh, Maryland, across the street from one of its forthcoming communities. At the same time, Monarch expanded its executive team with four new hires and one promotion.

The company has grown quickly since its founding in 2019, with four open communities and three more on the way. And there is more planned growth on the way with Welltower, according to Monarch Community Managing Director, Andrew Teeters.

“We do have a robust development pipeline with Welltower, [with] about 10 sites under contract that we hope to close on and start construction over the next several years,” Teeters told Senior Housing News.

Preparing for growth

Monarch’s latest hires and appointments to its senior leadership team are meant to support the company’s growing portfolio in 2022.

The company named Bryan Burnette as vice president of project management; Deanna DiStasio as vice president of operations; Max Ferentinos as vice president of real estate development; Helen Hames as director of marketing and sales enablement; and Johanna Miller as senior director of finance.

Burnette in particular was previously Monarch’s director of project management, where he led the design and construction of three communities and the renovation of four properties.

Additionally, Ferentinos comes to Monarch from Artis Senior Living, where he was vice president of real estate development and acquisitions; and Hames previously was area sales director with Benchmark Senior Living.

“It’s a team of very seasoned veterans in senior living that have come from different operators, primarily in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast,” Teeters said.

The company’s new headquarters in White Marsh is across the street from a forthcoming 188-unit community, and in close proximity to where many of its corporate leaders live, he added.

All of this is aimed at helping Monarch handle the growth it has on its plate. Real estate investment trust (REIT) Welltower invested in Monarch in 2021, with the senior living operator serving a role as “special operations” to fix issues and test new ideas.

Under the agreement, Welltower has an exclusive first opportunity to work with the operator on projects. The REIT also will be able to tap Monarch’s expertise across development, design, and operations.

With Welltower, Monarch added four communities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York to its management portfolio in 2021, all of which were in need of “significant, multimillion-dollar” renovations at the time of the transition, according to Teeter.

All told, the companies have planned about $200 million in new development together, and Monarch is also working with Welltower on redeveloping some older buildings.

Though the rising cost of construction materials and labor has complicated that vision, Teeters said the development partners have locked in pricing on some projects, and that rate increases down the road will help soften the blow.

“If other providers are increasing rates say 5% to 10%, we can follow suit,” said Teeters.

Monarch’s vertical structure also allows it to control projects from site selection through operations, enabling the company to be “nimble and opportunistic,” and take on a variety of projects rather than replicating a prototype or design, Michael Glynn, managing partner with Monarch, told Senior Housing News last year.

Currently, Monarch is in pre-opening stages for its next community in in New Rochelle, New York, which is dubbed Monarch Cooper’s Corner. All told, the company expects to have completed all of its current renovation and construction projects in 2023.

“We’re scaling our company and doing it hopefully responsibly as we slowly move forward with our existing communities and our new development,” Teeters said.

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