Seniors Housing Business

MAY-JUN 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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36 Seniors Housing Business n May-June 2018 Fast facts Company Name: The Wolff Company Founded: 1949 Headquarters: Scottsdale, Ariz. Seniors Portfolio: 3 communities completed, 17 under development Locations: Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, California By Jeff Shaw The Wolff Company began develop- ing seniors housing just two years ago, but the company has wasted no time launching projects. With an annual target of $300 million to $400 million in seniors housing development, the private equity firm with a rich history in acquiring and developing multifamily proper- ties has already completed three senior living communities. In addition, The Wolff Company has eight communities under construction and nine in early planning stages. Since the company only recently made the transition from building standard multifamily product, The Wolff Company focuses mostly on independent living. Rents range from the low $2,000s to over $5,000 per month, depend- ing on the market and unit size. A luxury offer- ing, The Wolff Company seeks to be in the "upper quartile" of rents in any given market. The portfolio is largely concentrated in the West: California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado and Idaho. Although there may be future geographic expansion, the company is currently content to focus on Western states. Although the company is open to acquisi- tion opportunities, its main focus is on ground- up development of luxury independent living properties. "Currently, it's easier for us to provide our residents with the experience we think they want through development," says Tim Wolff, the company's chief development officer. "Additionally, our belief is that the acquisition markets are generally priced too aggressively today." Founding the Wolff pack The Wolff Company's history began nearly 70 years ago in 1949 when Alvin "Pappy" Wolff founded the Alvin J. Wolff Company using a $1,500 loan. Based in Spokane, Washington, the company quickly became a regional leader as a residential real estate broker, eventually switch- ing over to development. Two generations of the Wolff family later, the company has moved its headquarters to Scott- sdale, Arizona (though it still maintains an office in Spokane) and is organized as a pri- vate equity investment and development firm. Alvin's son Fritz was CEO for several decades and now serves as chairman emeritus at the company. Grandchil- dren Fritz Jr., Jesse and Tim now all hold C-Suite roles. "Beginning in the 1990s, our current leadership team expanded our geography and evolved from a fam- ily business that primarily invested our own capital to a more institutional platform that invests via a number of discretionary private equity funds that we control," says Tim Wolff. "Our family legacy is one of our biggest assets, but make no mistake, this is no longer a family-run busi- ness," continues Wolff. "It is important to all of us that we put the best people in the right jobs to build and run a great business. A number of Wolff family members participate in the leadership of our business, but today more than 75 percent of our leader- ship team members don't have the last name Wolff." The company hired Mike Milhaupt in 2014 to serve as vice president of development to lead the seniors housing team, and development of the first community began in 2016. Milhaupt started his development career in 1983 with Robertson Homes, which developed more than 25,000 multifamily units throughout the United States. Prior to joining The Wolff Company, he spent more than 20 years at First Cen- trum LLC, where he was a partner. First Centrum was one of the one of the largest owners of seniors housing before the own- ers sold off the bulk of the portfolio and retired. Given The Wolff Com- pany's deep experience in the traditional multi- family sector, only inde- pendent living will be offered at the first wave of communities. "The Wolff brothers had been thinking about getting into seniors housing for a long time and were not comfortable in the assisted living or memory care space," says Milhaupt. Leveraging Its Strengths Being an older company, The Wolff Compa- ny's executives have a distinct advantage enter- ing the seniors housing sector because they already know the markets. "We had to learn seniors housing and all the nuances, but we understood the jurisdictions and the entitlement issues," says Milhaupt. "There's a learning curve to any area, par- ticularly those that are more complicated. We already knew that and have very experienced people." With deep experience in major Western U.S. markets, the company believes it has the resources and knowledge to succeed by over- coming high barriers to entry in those areas. The Wolff Company Aims to Lead the Pack n Company Profile Longtime multifamily developer joins the seniors housing sector with an aggressive development pipeline. The Wolff Company is developing Revel Kirkland, a 152-unit independent living community in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland scheduled for completion in 2019. The property will be located on a 12-acre site that formerly was home to LifeBridge Church. Mike Milhaupt Tim Wolff

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