Business Opportunity: Redevelopment, Financing and Expansion
WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community
Community at a Glance
Life Plan Community
Starting Unit Mix
Independent living: 160
Skilled nursing: 88
Memory care: 12
Ending Unit Mix
Independent living: 227
Skilled nursing: 86
Assisted living: 24
Memory care: 12
- Renovation, expansion and housing-related projects were delayed due to economic conditions in 2008-2009.
- WhiteStone was overly saturated with skilled nursing, needed to right-size the number of healthcare beds.
- Revenue increased from $8.4 million to more than $13.8 million.
- Community recognized approximately $6 million in cost savings that was used to reduce debt, add amenities and reduce entrance fees.
- Six independent living homes completed.
- Community occupancy is 92% and with 97% sold.
- Positive surge in friend and family referrals.
In staying true to the mission of WhiteStone, LCS Development enhanced the marketability of the historical community by renovating and improving the accessibility of the Linville Administration building. The community now offers a fully functioning fitness center, new marketing and administrative suite, library, activity room, resident store, game room, and six independent living houses with additional parking.
WhiteStone was originally a not-for-profit, entrance fee Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, with 125 independent living units and 100 licensed beds. The community was established in 1912 as a Masonic and Eastern Star community located on 42-acres.
In 2007, WhiteStone engaged Life Care Services and LCS Development in the process of planning for a substantial renovation and expansion of the community to:
- Modernize apartment amenities
- Improve accessibility
- Replace aging buildings and infrastructure
- Increase financial reserves and operating income
- Expand charitable mission
In partnership with LCS Development, WhiteStone recognized an improvement of nearly $3.4 million in the five-year period ending December 31, 2010, for Phase I of the project. The success of Phase I helped build a healthy cash position necessary for
the Phase II of WhiteStone’s repositioning and expansion project — right-sizing the campus.
To support WhiteStone’s mission and continue generating long-term financial sustainability, LCS Development conducted a thorough assessment of the demand for each level of care within the community to better understand how residents were using the various levels of care and for what reasons. After careful consideration, key stakeholders determined a one-size-fits-all approach to aging was no longer applicable to their resident population. Instead, in Phase II WhiteStone needed to focus on right-sizing the community to provide an enriched experience for residents while producing economic value for the community.
For Phase II, the skilled nursing facility was completely renovated and the number of skilled nursing beds was reduced by converting semi-private rooms to private suites. The reduction in skilled nursing beds allowed WhiteStone to invest in additional levels of care including new assisted living and memory care units. The reduction in skilled beds and introduction of assisted living beds was necessary to adjust for the changes in Medicare.
Second, it allowed WhiteStone to right-size the total number of healthcare beds which included skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care to meet internal demand and ensure a healthy census. Finally, these investments met market demand for more private skilled nursing rooms.
This approach to incorporating varying levels of care allowed WhiteStone to tailor the level of care for each resident in a more precise way and ultimately reduce cost to the community and the resident.
In addition to the new assisted living building, the community added new independent living options to accommodate a waiting list of 40 new residents and generate additional cashflow for future projects. Plus, WhiteStone’s existing care and wellness center has grown to include a home health suite, fully-renovated locker rooms, community life services suite, and group fitness.
Bolstering the continuum of care with the addition of assisted living and a right-sized campus has diversified WhiteStone and helped the community remain competitive in its evolving marketplace. The diversification has expanded its revenue base and provided WhiteStone the opportunity to continue reinvesting in its mission of serving seniors.
Partnering with Leaders who Listen
With Phase II wrapping up in mid 2023, it’s clear the partnership with WhiteStone and LCS Development continues to benefit the community, its residents, and key stakeholders. One critical piece of advice from both the WhiteStone and LCS Development teams – don’t wait! By the time WhiteStone enlisted the help of LCS Development, the community was showing its age, it’s reputation in the marketplace was declining and major projects could have been minor updates had the execution of a master plan been completed sooner.
The LCS Development team actively listens to our partners to ensure their missions remain intact, the residents’ needs are met and the long term sustainability of the community is at the forefront of any project. Because exceptional experiences begin when leaders listen.
To reach out to the LCS Development team or learn more about our projects, visit lcsnet.com/development-services.