Vi Senior Living, Classic Residence - Senior Housing Illinois

- 01.14

Vi (formerly known as Classic Residence by Hyatt) is a national developer, owner and manager of high-end retirement communities across the United States. It is a privately held corporation founded in 1987 by its former Chairman, Penny Pritzker. As of September 2012, the company houses over 4,000 residents and employed 2,621 workers. Senior Housing Properties Trust purchased Vi's rental portfolio in December 2011.

After serving for 25 years, Pritzker left Vi in early January, 2012, to focus on her new investment firm. Pritzker family business interests continue to own the company.

Vi is a distinct business entity from Hyatt hotels and Global Hyatt Corporation.

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For over twenty years, Classic Residence by Hyatt built its reputation on its relationship with the Hyatt hotel brand. In 2007, company president Randal Richardson said that "Classic Residence by Hyatt has really translated the quality of the Hyatt brand into luxury senior living."

In 2008, Classic Residence by Hyatt sold its trademark and agreed to discontinue use of the Hyatt name. When the new name - Vi - was revealed to residents at its Palo Alto community in June 2010, there was reportedly "an audible escape of air from the aged crowd" that included "murmurings of disbelief".

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In December 2011, Senior Housing Property Trust purchased eight of Vi's rental communities; In August 2012, Senior Housing Properties Trust purchased the remaining ninth rental community located in Yonkers, New York.

After the sale was announced, the SeniorCare Investor reported that Vi's ownership "wanted to sell the entire entity," but "the valuations from buyers for the entrance-fee CCRCs were not close to what the seller wanted to get" and that Vi "would put those on the backburner" to focus on selling the rentals.

Vi has historically been owned by the Pritzker family trusts. In the last five years, the Pritzker family has sold over $12 billion in assets, presumably pursuant to the family's contentious settlement that splits up their business empire. The National Real Estate Investor has speculated that the dissolution of the Pritzker family empire means that Vi "could be getting ready to exit the seniors housing market altogether."

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Vi operates continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). CCRC's offer a wider range of services than rental retirement communities. Most CCRC's offer "continuing care programs" for qualifying seniors which allows them to move into assisted living, skilled nursing, and Alzheimer's support programs as their health declines for the same monthly fee they had paid for their independent rental apartment, with certain additional ancillary charges. Monthly fees pay all operating expenses at the community, including medical care. In most of its CCRCs, Vi can adjust monthly fees with thirty to sixty days notice.

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Quality of Care

Vi continuing care retirement communities offer several different levels of onsite care to its residents. Care availability depends on community location and can include assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support and Alzheimer's, etc. Each community undergoes state and county public health department inspections on a regular basis. In 2007, Florida regulators temporarily placed their Lantana facility on a statewide nursing home watch list for "failing to provide adequate and appropriate health care and protective support to all residents," according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Vi at Grayhawk was ranked as one of the best care centers in the nation in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report.

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Resident at Vi's La Jolla community filed a class action lawsuit against Vi in 2006. Residents had accused the company of fraud and deceit, elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair business practices, and violation of part of the California health and safety code. Vi denied any wrongdoing, but reached a settlement with residents in 2008 that included, among other things:

  • A lump sum payment to residents,
  • A 3% annual ceiling on monthly fee increases through 2013 for residents who took part in the lawsuit, and a 4% ceiling for every subsequent year, and
  • Improvements to the Wellness Center.

Resident at Vi's Palo Alto community filed a class action lawsuit against Vi in 2014, alleging refundable entrance fees were improperly being transferred out of state. As of January 2015, the matter is still in litigation.

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