Health Care REIT is acquiring a 90% interest in a senior-housing property venture managed by Sunrise Senior Living for about $643.5 million.

The acquisition of the 29-property portfolio from an affiliate of Arcapita is being financed with about $365 million in cash as well as the assumption of a 90% interest in the $309 million of debt held by the venture, according to the Toledo, Ohio-based real estate investment.

The properties are being acquired at a capitalization rate of about 6.6%, based on results forecast for 2009. They are located primarily in the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas, all of which are characterized by their high barriers to entry.

“This transaction highlights our ability to acquire premier, consumer-focused real estate,” said George L. Chapman, chairman and CEO of Health Care REIT. “The addition of these properties will provide us an opportunity to enhance overall NOI (net operating income) growth by capturing facility-level operating income in a tax efficient manner.”

Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based operator of seniors housing communities, will continue to manage the properties and retains a 10% interest in the venture.

“These 29 Sunrise communities are in deep and attractive markets. We look forward to developing this strategic relationship with HCN, which will allow us to continue to operate these communities and create value for both companies,” noted Paul Klaassen, founder and CEO of Sunrise Senior Living. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008.