HOST MARRIOTT TO ACQUIRE THREE ASSISTED PROPERTIES In a rapid start to 1998, Bethesda, Md.-based Host Marriott, a national seniors housing and lodging provider, has purchased The Gables at Winchester, a 124-unit assisted living facility located in Winchester, Mass. It also has entered into conditional purchase agreements to acquire two Marriott Brighton Gardens assisted living facilities , located in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., from Denver-based Summit Cos. After the completion of construction by the first quarter of 1999 and lease up of the communities, Host Marriott has agreed to acquire these two 160-unit properties for an aggregate of $35.2 million. The properties are projected to have EBITDA of approximately $4.1 million in the year of their acquisition. Each project will service assisted living, skilled nursing and special care accommodations for their residents. Marriott Senior Living Services of Bethesda, Md., has signed long-term agreements to manage all the properties.

ARV ASSISTED LIVING WINS MAJOR COURT DECISION ARV Assisted Living Inc., a seniors housing developer and provider based in Costa Mesa, Calif., has won a court decision from the California State Court denying, in its entirety, a preliminary injunction sought by Seattle-based Emeritus Corp. The firm had attempted to rescind a series of transactions that culminated in an $87 million investment in ARV by an affiliate of New York-based Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors LLC. Alternatively, Emeritus tried to prevent Lazard from voting the approximately 4.3 million shares it received in December 1997. During this period ARV redeemed convertible notes it previously issued to Lazard. The offer from Emeritus was $17.590 per share to ARV's shareholders and the deal was rejected in last month. In December last year, Emeritus increased its offer to buy ARV from $16.50 per share last October.

PALADIN GROUP STARTS ON NEW $11.3 MILLION FACILITY In a project for the American Retirement Corp. based in Brentwood, Tenn., The Paladin Group, an assisted living developer also based in Brentwood, has started construction on an $11.3 million, 100-unit community called Homewood Residences. Scheduled to be completed in November of this year, the project is being built on 3.2 acres and has a planned unit mix of 26 studios, 38 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and 24 Alzheimer's units. WG Mills Inc. is serving as the general contractor and Architectural Concepts Inc. has designed Homewood Residences. Both firms are based in Naples, Fla.

BENCHMARK ASSISTED LIVING DEVELOPS UNIQUE COMMUNITY In a project that is designed to incorporate a college campus and an assisted living facility, Wellesley, Mass.-based Benchmark Assisted Living will be developing a 50-unit facility on the campus of Dean College, a private, two-year college in Franklin, Mass. Construction is expected to begin in mid-1998 and be completed in early-1999. The project will include assisted living apartments and a walking path that will integrate into the college campus. This is the first seniors housing project to be developed on a college campus in the nation. "We are excited about this project because it gives an opportunity to create an innovative assisted living community," says Thomas H. Grape, president of Benchmark.

KAPSON SENIOR QUARTERS OPENS NEW YORK RESIDENCE Kapson Senior Quarters Corp., a seniors housing provider based in Woodbury, N.Y., has completed this February a $6 million, five-story assisted living facility in Queens, N.Y., offering private, shared-use and special needs assistance residences. The 150-unit building was entirely renovated and is called Seniors Quarters at Forest Hills. Located on a two-acre site near Long Island, the facility has a variety of shared and private units with rents ranging from $1,600 to $3,850 per month.

MEDITRUST SIGNS DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO BUY LA QUINTA INNS Needham Heights, Mass.-based Meditrust, the nation's largest healthcare real estate investment trust, and La Quinta Inns Inc., based in San Antonio, have signed a definitive agreement to merge the two corporations.

The total consideration will be $26 per share using a combination of newly issued shares in Meditrust and cash. Meditrust will assume approximately $900 million in outstanding La Quinta debt. The amount of the deal is valued at $3 billion and, upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 1998, Meditrust's market cap will reach nearly $7.5 billion. At present, La Quinta's portfolio includes 234 Inns and 36 Inn & Suites models totaling around 35,000 rooms in 28 states.

"Meditrust is off and running. The La Quinta acquisition is consistent with our strategy to make accretive acquisitions of growth companies, in growth industries," says Abraham D. Gosman, chairman of the board at Meditrust. "We intend to capitalize on these opportunities as they arise. This acquisition represents a platform for a lodging and leisure sector within Meditrust. La Quinta's growth plan is to have approximately 13,500 additional rooms by the end of 1999.