Like commercial real estate brokers everywhere, Chris Hyldahl hates to play the waiting game. All too often, he says, deals can languish in limbo while awaiting decisions from on high.
“In the brokerage industry, it’s not easy to find accessible decision-makers. More typically, contacts are not able to say yes to anything but must get the approval of others before they’re able to act,” he points out.
But it’s not like that when working with Cambridge Investment and Finance Co., the investment arm of Cambridge Realty Capital Companies.
“Cambridge is extremely professional, well-organized, punctual and decisive. And there’s no waiting around for a committee or board to pass or fail a project,” he said.
Mr. Hyldahl is a Senior Managing Director and Founding Partner of Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors, a fast-growing advisory firm that is exclusively focused on seniors housing and healthcare real estate. The company has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Hyldahl’s primary contacts at Cambridge are Chairman Jeffrey Davis in Chicago and Hymie Barber in the Los Angeles Office.
“What’s nice about working a deal with Cambridge is that the company functions as a tight-knit crew that keeps everyone in the information loop and makes important decisions quickly. The company doesn’t have a corporate feel to it,” he observes.
In late 2015, Blueprint Healthcare brokered the sale of four Cambridge-owned assisted living and memory care properties in the Green Bay and Appleton, WI, markets. Eight years ago Cambridge had purchased the distressed properties for $4.8 million and sold the buildings for $18.4 million after making extensive improvements.
At the time of purchase, two of the properties were less than 60 percent occupied and a third building was unoccupied and unlicensed. In short order, occupancy was up dramatically and the unoccupied property was finished and licensed as a memory care facility.
Earlier, Mr. Hyldahl was the broker in another unique turnaround situation with Cambridge in surrounding Evansville, Indiana. In this example, the owner of two under-performing skilled nursing home facilities wanted to sell, and the owner of the management company brought in to manage the properties wanted to buy the properties.
However, the management company, Transcendent Healthcare LLC, had never been a property owner and did not have the funds to complete the acquisition.
In a bold decision, Cambridge agreed to purchase the properties and lease them to Transcendent. In the agreed-upon arrangement, Transcendent would nurse the properties back to clinical and fiscal health. When this was accomplished 18 months later, it was further agreed that Cambridge would refinance the property with HUD financing and sell the properties back to Transcendent.
In the way the deal was structured, the management company was able to move from lessee to a fee simple ownership position while seeing their real estate costs decrease.
“It was a complex deal with a lot of moving parts, but Cambridge made it look easy,” Mr. Hyldahl said.