Symphony Completes Caretel Takeover Despite COVID-19; Strawberry Fields Grows in Kentucky with $5.4M Pickup

Symphony Care Network this week announced the successful completion of a deal to take over three skilled nursing and assisted living properties — previously operated by the non-profit Caretel Inns — in Michigan.

The Chicago-based Symphony had previously announced the deal last September, immediately assuming operations at a pair of former Caretel facilities and starting the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approval process to add the remaining three.

Despite the added logistical challenges of completing a takeover while also managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HUD signed off on the transaction on June 1, according to Symphony.

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“Because of the current health crisis, the strength of our partnership was put to the test early on, but we’ve proven to be a skilled, resourceful, and unified team,” Symphony CEO David Hartman said in a statement. “I’m excited to move forward with the entire Michigan group as we collectively identify and introduce industry-leading models for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities.”

The facilities transferred last week — Caretel Inns of Tri-Cities, Caretel Inns of Linden, and Applewood Nursing Center — will now operate as Symphony Tri-Cities, Symphony Linden, and Symphony Applewood, respectively. They join Caretel Inns Brighton and Caretel Inns St. Joseph as part of the operator’s Michigan portfolio.

Caretel Inns Brighton was the first facility in its county to implement a dedicated COVID-19 recovery unit, according to Symphony.

Symphony was attracted to the mix of assisted living and skilled nursing services within the portfolio when plotting its expansion into Michigan, chief operating officer Michael Munter told SNN last year, as well as its history as a mission-driven non-profit.

“As we look for the next five, 10, 15, 20 years of our growth, we are looking outside just the skilled nursing environment,” Munter said. “We’re looking to create and expand what we call internally a care network. And to do that … we feel that skilled nursing in and of itself might not be enough of a care continuum.”

Jason Stroiman, president of Evans Senior Investments, represented Caretel during the transaction.

Strawberry Fields Grows in Kentucky

Strawberry Fields REIT this week announced the acquisition of the Charleston Health Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Danville, Ky., for $5.4 million.

The 90-bed facility — located about 35 miles from Lexington, Ky. — had an average occupancy of 95%, primarily consisting of Medicaid-covered residents; the property also includes 16 assisted living units and an independent living cottage, according to the South Bend, Ind.-based real estate investment trust (REIT).

Strawberry Fields plans to install A&M Healthcare, a company that runs other facilities in the area, as the new operator.

“The property was up available for sale, as the longtime owners were looking to retire. They had given so much to the facility and the Danville community, and they are handing off to operators who will protect and build on their legacy,” Strawberry Fields CEO Moshe Gubin said in a statement. “We expect A&M Healthcare to leverage savings from the synergy of the two facilities being so close to each other and exceed current performance.”

Strawberry Fields owns SNFs, long-term acute care hospitals (LTACs), and assisted living facilities across the South and Midwest.

Monticello’s $2.5M Portfolio Loan

MONTICELLOAM, LLC this week announced the successful closure of a $2.5 million working capital loan for three skilled nursing facilities in Kentucky and North Carolina with a total of 312 beds.

The New York City-based lender extended the financing through its Monticello Commercial Capital asset-based lending affiliate.

The operating companies in control of the portfolio currently manage more than 8,700 beds, according to Monticello, and have previously worked with the financial company to fund the acquisition of properties over the past two years.

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