Good advice can carry you a long way when you’re able to recognize and be receptive to it.
Jacob Gehl is a founder and managing partner of Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors, a brokerage firm that is exclusively focused on senior housing and healthcare real estate. The rapidly expanding firm was founded in 2013 and now has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
Mr. Gehl currently works out of the company’s Los Angeles office.
Before creating Blueprint, Mr. Gehl and the company’s founding partners were executives with Marcus and Millichap, a highly successful, 55-year-old Chicago brokerage business. He says Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis was first to alert him to the exciting possibilities and potential of senior housing/healthcare real estate.
“I’ve been working with Jeff Davis and the Cambridge staff for more than 15 years. Jeff has been like a mentor to me, and encouraged me to consider specializing in senior housing before this was a popular move to make,” he said.
Mr. Gehl says Cambridge is one of the nation’s leading FHA-approved senior housing/healthcare lenders and acquires properties through its Cambridge Investment and Finance Co. subsidiary. The company’s investment strategy includes direct property acquisitions, joint ventures and sale/leasebacks.
“Primarily, Cambridge is focused on properties with turnaround potential. Jeff is an exceptional dealmaker and has put together a great roster of people. He’s always looking for situations where he can add value. This is where Cambridge shines.”
Before leaving Marcus and Millichap, Mr. Gehl recalls sourcing a portfolio of four nursing homes in El Paso, Tex., that Cambridge eventually purchased for $22 million. Extensive improvements and a dedicated community marketing effort dramatically increased occupancy at the properties. And the value of the portfolio has doubled since its purchase in 2011.
In another example, Mr. Gehl says that in 2015 Blueprint brokered the sale of four Cambridge-owned assisted living and memory care properties in the Green Bay and Appleton, WI, markets for $18.4 million. Eight years earlier, Cambridge had purchased the distressed properties for $4.8 million.
When Cambridge purchased the Wisconsin properties, three of the buildings were less than 60 percent occupied and one of the buildings was unoccupied and unlicensed. With planned improvements and an aggressive marketing effort, occupancy levels for the properties climbed dramatically, The unoccupied and unlicensed building was finished and licensed as a memory care facility, Mr. Gehl noted.
In addition to the Cambridge chairman, Mr. Gehl’s primary contacts at the company are Managing Director Sampada D’silva and Senior Vice President Brent Holman-Gomez. But Cambridge “runs the business with a really deep bench of loyal and knowledgeable young associates who are trained to do things the right way,” he points out.
“The Cambridge team is comprised of creative, easy-to-work-with team players who can be counted upon to keep their word. With Cambridge, what you see is always what you get,” he said.