May 21, 2022

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Dallas luxury senior home Edgemere files for bankruptcy, sues landlord

7 min read

Dallas retirement community Edgemere submitted for individual bankruptcy Thursday, citing financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic and past year’s Texas freeze, and accused its landlord of trying to acquire back the prime property for a “windfall income.”

Edgemere, a continuing care retirement neighborhood with above 400 citizens that enables seniors to age into distinctive ranges of treatment without having transferring, explained it’s negotiating with its economic stakeholders on a restructuring program.

Family members owed tens of millions of dollars in entrance fee refunds will now grow to be unsecured creditors in the individual bankruptcy. In its court submitting, Edgemere said it intends to honor refund obligations to former and current citizens.

Inspite of that pledge, some creditors aren’t convinced.

“This submitting rather a lot confirms for me that we won’t get the money back again,” stated William Thomas, whose relatives is awaiting a $293,411 refund from when his late father-in-law, John Stallings, moved out almost 3 several years in the past.

Edgemere said the 1.55-million-sq.-foot facility with 304 unbiased dwelling residences, 113 assisted dwelling suites and 87 nursing beds will go on running all through the individual bankruptcy proceedings.

The individual bankruptcy submitting estimates Edgemere has between 1,000 and 5,000 collectors. Its assets and liabilities are equally estimated to be involving $100 million and $500 million.

Moreover the pandemic’s influence on occupancy and “dramatically” bigger labor fees, Edgemere said its assets insurance policies improved from $92,000 in 2019 to $582,000 in 2020 owing to the ice storm and its spot in a higher-chance place for wind and hail.

Edgemere also cited amplified competitiveness from lessen-price selections in Dallas. There are 9 continuing treatment retirement communities inside of 10 miles of Edgemere, which include Ventana by Buckner, which opened in 2019, and Legacy Senior Communities, which opened in August 2020.

Edgemere’s entrance service fees variety among $345,000 and $1.4 million, whilst the regular for continuing care communities in the Dallas industry is $435,254, according to a filing. In addition, Edgemere’s every month support charges get started at about $4,000 a month, better than the $2,000 to $3,000 a month billed by rivals.

Jesse Jantzen, CEO of Edgemere’s mother or father enterprise, Lifespace Communities Inc., claimed in a statement that Edgemere filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy security with the assistance of its bondholders. He declined an additional job interview with The Dallas Early morning Information.

“We keep on being steadfast in our determination to our citizens as we get the job done by means of this course of action in a method that will allow for latest and potential people to delight in all that Edgemere has to offer for lots of years to occur,” Jantzen claimed in the bankruptcy announcement.

Getting on its landlord

At the same time with its individual bankruptcy submitting, Edgemere also sued its landlord, Intercity Investments Inc., and non-public fairness business Kong Money, which has been performing with Intercity.

The 188-website page lawsuit accuses Intercity of functioning with Kong Funds to terminate Edgemere’s 55-yr floor lease so it could “make a windfall profit” by turning it into a senior dwelling rental local community. Edgemere reported it “intends to pursue the lawsuit vigorously.”

The lawsuit accuses Intercity of “outrageous conduct” to demolish Edgemere’s business enterprise so it could retake the house in a single of Dallas’ most attractive parts. The allegations include breach of contract, fraud, interference with its organization and civil conspiracy.

Intercity Investments declined to remark on the allegations.

All through conversations in late 2021 about restructuring the lease, Edgemere said it delivered Intercity with “a significant volume of hugely private and proprietary information and facts, which includes economic and operational information” underneath a nondisclosure arrangement.

Intercity then made use of that data to variety its own system to wipe out Edgemere, in accordance to the lawsuit. It claims Intercity contacted residents by means of social media in an endeavor to “frighten them that Edgemere would be unable to repay their entrance charges,” even though leaving out its program to repurpose the home and “leave the residents no hope of a refund.”

The Information initially noted on Edgemere’s economical woes in February, pursuing the expiration of an settlement that allowed the company to hold off regular monthly rent payments to Intercity as nicely as desire and principal on its $109 million of excellent debt. Court docket filings showed Edgemere’s monthly lease payment was $357,878.

Mainly because Intercity and Kong Cash went community with Edgemere’s monetary ailment, the lawsuit claimed, phone quantity from potential citizens dropped, tours for prospective new people diminished and persons beforehand dedicated to shifting in delayed signing contracts.

In 2021, Edgemere signed contracts for models with 48 new people, an regular of 4 every thirty day period. Considering the fact that February, Edgemere has not created any new income, the lawsuit stated.

How are people feeling?

Edgemere posted a Q&A for citizens assuring them that submitting for Chapter 11 doesn’t suggest it is going out of business and is a “positive step” for existing and long term residents.

Inhabitants are not angry or involved, stated Dr. Paul Radman, a previous endodontist and president of the Edgemere Resident Affiliation. When Lifespace CEO Jantzen satisfied Thursday with Edgemere citizens to describe the submitting, people felt relief, he reported.

“I was expecting a large amount of gasps and worry and, to my shock, absolutely everyone was extremely pleased it had taken position,” he explained. “Everyone was very content simply because they felt it was the suitable transfer.”

For families awaiting payment from Edgemere, the emotions are fewer favourable.

“We are extremely disappointed,” mentioned Michael Frost of Austin, who is awaiting a refund on his mother’s deposit of about $270,000 from 2016. “The deposit was the crucial to us deciding on Edgemere. The deposit furnished us the ease and comfort of knowing my mom would have a spot to live the rest of her life.”

Edgemere’s continuing treatment operates on an entrance fee design and involves a huge sum upfront of in between $345,000 to $1.45 million and then a month to month payment, which ranges from $4,176 to $8,933 for unbiased living. Quite a few inhabitants promote their residences to manage the payment since their contract states that up to 90% is refundable to them or their estates, delivered that Edgemere resells their device to a new resident who pays a new entrance fee and moves into the device.

But with Edgemere’s slipping occupancy premiums — dropping from 93.3% in 2018 to 74% last yr — it has not been ready to resell units and return deposits to family members.

Edgemere is continuing to give refunds, with the latest getting issued April 8, claimed spokeswoman Rachel Chesley. Latest refunds went to citizens who recently died or still left the local community following two ailments experienced been achieved: the resident moved out of their unit and into a higher stage of treatment within the local community right before Sept. 27, 2021, and Edgemere resold the unit prior to Sept. 27.

When Edgemere wasn’t equipped to fork out its lease last tumble, it took actions to shield new resident deposits gained immediately after Sept. 27 by putting them with an escrow agent.

Frost’s mother moved out in March 2018 and died a minor over a calendar year in the past. Her device sat vacant for nearly three decades prior to it was leased in November. But due to the fact that arrived just after Sept. 27, the new entrance charge is getting held by the escrow agent and Frost hasn’t obtained a refund.

As of April 13, Edgemere had entrance charge liabilities to existing inhabitants totaling $122.8 million, which will come thanks as people die or transfer out. It also owes $25.5 million to previous residents whose units have not been resold.

Edgemere’s personal bankruptcy submitting lists its 30 most significant unsecured claims, which full $25.5 million and contain just one resident owed $1.3 million.

There is at minimum just one spouse and children lawsuit now towards Edgemere.

Pamela Siviglia and Andrew Adams sued Edgemere in February on behalf of the estate of their mother, Patricia Adams, who died Feb. 18, 2019. The siblings’ lawsuit mentioned they are awaiting a $449,100 refund soon after a few years.

Edgemere’s disclosure files specify that refunds are not issued until a resident’s unit is resold and a new entrance payment is paid. Adams stated in his lawsuit that the disclosure statement was not connected to the arrangement he signed.

What transpires following?

Continuing care retirement communities entering the individual bankruptcy method will usually retain the services of an attorney to depict residents and their pursuits, reported Thomas Califano, a partner in Sidley Austin’s restructuring group who has represented treatment communities in a lot of bankruptcies.

“Communication is essential to a prosperous restructuring,” he claimed. “You want to give the residents assurance that you’re doing the right matter, and the finest way to do that is to assistance them get proficient legal counsel.”

Due to the fact residents and their family members are considered unsecured lenders, they have to get in line to get paid. Holders of secured bonds have initial precedence legal rights and need to be paid out the benefit of their collateral, Califano stated. Other assets are not matter to secured promises and everybody, such as residents and distributors, have equal possibilities to recoup their revenue.

Califano reported in the two dozen instances he’s been associated with throughout the state, he’s been capable to shield entrance fees in each and every circumstance. He claimed bondholders recognize that if entrance charges are not repaid, it forever harms the facility.

The COVID-19 pandemic strike senior residing communities challenging, major to a string of bankruptcies, together with the Buckingham in Houston, AltaVita Village in Riverside, Calif., Inverness Village in West Tulsa, Okla., and Barrington of Carmel in Carmel, Ind.

Driscoll Otto is an unsecured creditor in the Buckingham situation in Houston. His mother, Ruthe Wilson, moved into the house in 2015 and died in Oct 2020. He’s owed a $539,100 refund.

The personal bankruptcy resulted in the Buckingham attaching ailments to spending again its unsecured lenders, such as having 135 times of dollars on hand. Otto stated he was told by lawyers and other unsecured collectors with monetary backgrounds that the disorders are so not likely, he shouldn’t count on to see the money.

“I truly feel truly negative for the folks in Dallas due to the fact I know what is gonna occur,” he reported. “They’re likely to shed their revenue.”

Edgemere is a high-end retirement home in Dallas with 304 independent living apartments, 113...
Edgemere, one of Dallas' premier retirement communities, is battling falling occupancy...