CONSTELLATION SENIOR SERVICES OPENS SEVEN NEW PROPERTIES Constellation Senior Services, a Columbia, Md.-based seniors housing developer, has opened seven new communities at a project cost of $58 million. The properties are located in Maryland, Virginia, Rhode Island and North Carolina. One of the facilities, Beechwood at Laurelmead, is a 135-unit CCRC situated on 23 acres in Providence, R.I. The unit mix is 73 assisted living residences, 30 Alzheimer's units and a 32-unit skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. The facility has an adult cooperative retirement community program located near Brown University.

HOST MARRIOTT BUYS INTEREST IN $40 MILLION COMMUNITY In a transaction that closed in December last year, Bethesda, Md.-based Host Marriott has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire the remaining 50% partnership interest in Leisure Park, a 418-unit full-service retirement community located in Lakewood, N.J. The aggregate value of Leisure Park is reported at $40 million. Host Marriott currently owns 50% of the facility while buying the remaining 50% for Marriott Senior Living Services. "Leisure Park further enhances our ownership of premier seniors living real estate," says Terence Golden, president and CEO at Host Marriott. "The seniors living industry continues to benefit from double digit growth rates, which allows us to successfully diversify into a business where cashflows are independent of the business cycle."

SENIOR CAMPUS LIVING BUILDS $500 MILLION IN PROJECTS Cantonsville, Md.-based Senior Campus Living (SCL), a national developer of seniors housing, has started two CCRC projects worth $250 million each. Completion is set for fall 1998. In October 1997, construction started on Seabrook Village, a 134-acre community in Tinton Falls, N.J., that is expected to house 2,600 residents. Also, Greenspring Village, a 108-acre community located in Springfield, Va., will have more than 2,100 residents.

Site acquisition work is ongoing in the New England, New Jersey-New York and central Pennsylvania regions for SCL. The firm will build two new CCRCs each year for the next five years. "We believe that we're creating a complete environment designed specifically for active senior citizens," says John Erickson, chairman and CEO of SCL. "Our communities provide targeted affordability, security and activity to middle-income retirees - which is the fastest growing segment of the population."

THE DERMOT CO. ACQUIRES COUNTRY CLUB OF LA CHOLLA Del Mar, Calif.-based The Dermot Co. has purchased the Country Club of La Cholla for approximately $20 million in a deal that closed in November last year. The 223-unit retirement community is located in Tucson, Ariz., and has a unit mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom residences with 16 retirement townhomes. The property is a two-story, 236,000 sq. ft. complex. In the transaction, Dermot Co. assumed nearly $18 million in tax-exempt bonds. The seller was Dallas-based Triad Senior Living.

BERNARDON & ASSOCIATES DESIGNS CCRC ADDITIONS Bernardon & Associates PC (BAA), an architectural and interior design firm based in Kennett Square, Pa., has announced that construction is nearing completion on a $900,000, 20-bed addition to Southampton Estates, a community owned and managed by ACTS Inc. and located in Upper Southampton Township, Pa. The CCRC encompasses 495 residences that include independent living, assisted living and special healthcare units. The 20 beds will be semi-private rooms in the healthcare wing when completed in March. Genesis Development Group of Blue Bell, Pa., is the project manager and developer of the addition.

Also, BAA has completed a 26-unit assisted living facility (ALF) for Woodland Heights, a CCRC in Narvon, Pa., that is set for completion is spring 1998. The project cost for the ALF was $2.2 million. Can Do Construction of Wilmington, Del., built the assisted living wing.

The American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) ranked the top five states for continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) in its 1997 Construction Survey.

In 1997, Florida leads all states with the most CCRCs under construction (seven) followed by Maryland with three communities. However, New Jersey has the most CCRC units built (2,000) followed by Virginia (1,900), Florida (1,867), Pennsylvania (672) and Arizona (608). The top five states for CCRC properties are Florida (31), Arizona (25), Pennsylvania (23), Maryland (8) and West Virginia (4).

The 33 CCRCs (10,709 units) being built nationally account for 8% of seniors properties built or under construction at year-end 1997. The CCRCs have an average of 324 units and an expected total resident capacity of 416 residents per community. CCRCs, which tend to be the largest seniors housing type, also frequently havethe greatest range in unit capacity. Of the CCRCs built in 1997, the largest is expected to house 2,500 residents while the smallest is expected to house 60 residents.