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Senior housing firm branches out

Pacific Retirement Services has signed new consulting and management contracts with senior residences in the western United States, while at the same time beginning work on expanding its own properties.

"The senior market is strong and most of the country is coming out of the recession," said CEO Brian McLemore, whose firm oversees, develops, operates and manages 50 senior facilities, including the Rogue Valley Manor in Medford. "What has come back well for us is the ability to do expansion on our existing campuses."

PRS has 3,000 employees, including 100 in its Medford corporate offices. That makes it the 14th-largest not-for-profit, multi-site senior living organization in the top 100 rankings compiled by LeadingAge Ziegler.

McLemore said the improving economy has opened some windows of opportunity for PRS.

"We can go back to the projects we had teed up in 2008, when the economy went out from beneath us," he said. "The (existing PRS) communities are full and they are financially strong. We're able to access the capital markets and get new money to expand."

McLemore said the organization's increased strength gives them better leverage in working with lenders.

"Banks are more comfortable when they see assets are performing well and are full, rather than you tell them you're thinking of a new concept and need $200 million. Those kinds of deals are not fully back to where they were. Although we are looking for opportunities and locations, we're being much more cautious than we were during the boom in 2005, '06 and '07."

Pacific Retirement has signed a new management contract with Moldaw Residences in Palo Alto, Calif., owned by a previous client, Jewish Senior Living Group. PRS will perform on-site management and provide support in all areas of operation.

PRS has also ramped up its development operations, contracting with Holladay Park Plaza in Portland, a continuing-care retirement community. The organization is finishing construction on a six-story residential building, Holladay Place, adding 19 apartments, a lobby and additional parking. It's scheduled to open in September.

PRS is developing 23-story River Tower at its Trinity Terrace operation in Fort Worth, Texas. The project will add 100 apartments and health care beds to Trinity Terrace. Construction is set to begin later this year.

PRS is adding a new residential building called 29th Place at its Eugene facility, Cascade Manor. Construction starting this summer on the project that includes 30 apartments and a new dining area.

In Napa, Calif., PRS is planning a new residential building and an aquatic and wellness center at Meadow of the Napa Valley. The project adds 53 apartments and new dining facilities with a target construction date of spring 2015.

"We've diversified into a lot more management and consulting," McLemore said, adding that another management contract was being negotiated in Southern California.

"We think we can bring value to other non-profits that didn't do well through the recession and haven't responded to what their customers are looking for," he said.

McLemore said most of the Medford office staff is involved in accounting, information technology, advertising and marketing, as well as executive and administrative functions.