The Amsterdam at Harborside is a beautiful life plan community (CCRC) in Port Washington, NY that continues to provide an exceptional lifestyle across the continuum from independent living apartments to assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, nursing and hospice care since welcoming its first residents in August 2010. The community recently reached an important milestone with 97% of its 229 independent living apartments occupied.
In December 2007 HJ Sims underwrote $296.4 million in tax-exempt bonds for the construction and development of the community, the first and only continuing care retirement community in Nassau County, NY. Economic conditions and lower local real estate values severely curtailed the pace of new residents moving to the community shortly after opening. The difficulty of selling existing homes in a severe recession dampened marketing activity significantly.
In an effort to improve cash flow, HJ Sims and a concerted joint effort by management, the Board of Directors, Greystone Communities as development consultant, manager and marketing firm, bondholders and New York State regulators worked several months to devise a debt restructuring plan that would provide the community with the relief and flexibility to be viable over the long term. Although a bankruptcy filing was necessary to complete the restructuring since unanimous consent of all the bondholders was required, ultimately over 99% of bondholders voted to approve the plan in 2014. No debt was forgiven under the restructuring and sales continued during the brief bankruptcy period. Service delivered by Harborside’s talented staff consistently remained at levels expected by residents.
Jim Davis, President & CEO of The Amsterdam Continuing Care Health System, sponsor of the Amsterdam at Harborside, attributes the community’s successful restructuring to regular communication, education, staff commitment and a wonderful product. From the days of the initial challenges, Jim and his team developed a comprehensive communication strategy that involved a wide breadth of stakeholders ‒ from lenders and regulators to residents, prospective residents, family members and staff. Each constituency was kept well informed as to the challenges and the corrective action plans with frequent progress reports along the way. Jim’s open and forthright approach instilled confidence that everything possible was being done to see the community through the restructuring process and that the results would lead to the future success and long term viability of the community.
The Harborside, in conjunction with Greystone Communities brought together a highly committed and professional staff who developed strong relationships with current and prospective residents and family members. The combination of educating the consumer on the value of living at The Harborside, newly implemented options and incentives available to interested prospective residents and the assurance provided by Jim’s frequent town hall meetings created the steady momentum that led to this impressive achievement.
HJ Sims congratulates The Harborside and wishes it great success in the future.