HJ Sims Advises Community First Solutions on Accretive Independent Living Expansion
“Lynn Daly, Nick Roberts, and the HJ Sims team brought a tremendous amount of value to our recent loan deal and working with them was a pleasure. They were laser focused on negotiating the best financial terms possible and also providing excellent client service every step of the way. I couldn’t be happier with the results of our deal and am grateful for everything they did to help us get it executed.”
– Brian Krause, CFO, Community First Solutions
Established in 1918, Community First Solutions (“CFS”) is rated ‘A-‘ by Fitch Ratings and is based out of Butler County, Ohio and provides a broad continuum of quality services to meet the diverse health and wellness needs of more than 30,000 clients throughout the region. In addition, CFS owns and operates three senior living communities: Berkeley Square Retirement Center, Westover Retirement Community, and Jamestowne Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab, all located in Hamilton, Ohio. HJ Sims was engaged as financial advisor and derivatives advisor for the transaction, representing the first opportunity to partner with CFS.
Following the completion and successful fill-up of a 14-unit independent living expansion at its Berkeley Square community, CFS elected to move forward with the next phase of cottage expansion, to include 20 total units. The units will be similar and design and price point to the prior phase, which was fully occupied within several months of opening and will provide incremental high-margin, in-demand residential units at Berkeley Square. CFS also possesses the in-house expertise to self-perform the role of general contractor just as they did in the prior phase, resulting in reduced overall costs of the project. The financing also includes proceeds to be used for ongoing capital expenditures at Berkeley Square.
Flexibility was the core theme as HJ Sims led a competitive solicitation process to select a lending partner. CFS has other expansion plans on the horizon for its communities in addition to other strategic initiatives, and it was important that the finance plan supports these future plans. Leveraging the strong financial condition of CFS, HJ Sims was able to negotiate a covenant package consistent with those that are currently included in the existing Master Trust Indenture along with highly competitive rates in challenging a debt market for new construction projects. In addition, there was no appraisal requirement and limited other real estate due diligence required to close the financing, contributing to a quick timeline to closing even amidst the holiday season.
CFS, HJ Sims, and Old National Bank closed the $12.0 million financing on January 26, 2023, structured as tax-exempt direct placement draw-down bonds with a three-year interest-only period. In addition, CFS entered into a forward starting interest rate swap to become effective following completion of construction, resulting in an all-in interest rate for CFS of approximately 3.16%.
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