There is a new entrant in the seniors housing market. Coming from the self-storage industry, California-based SmartStop Asset Management just acquired three seniors housing communities in Utah through its private REIT, Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust, marking its first acquisition in the space.

Totaling 294 units, the portfolio is located in the Salt Lake City MSA, and includes a 119-unit/140-bed assisted living community, a 111-unit/136-bed AL community (with balconies or patios at each unit) and a 64-unit/78-bed AL property that also offers short-term/respite care. They are not new properties (built from 10 to 30 years ago) but they operated very well under previous ownership by MBK Senior Living, with occupancy hovering around 90% for the portfolio.

MBK Senior Living will stay on to operate (a good start for the new entrant), after selling the properties for a combined $78.5 million, or about $267,000 per unit, according to an SEC filing. We expect to hear more from SmartStop throughout the year as they look to grow their seniors housing portfolio.