Landmark at Monastery Heights sold for $11.9M to new entry in assisted living industry

Landmark at Monastery Heights is now Prosper at Monastery Heights after being sold earlier this month to a startup Prosper Life Care for $11.95 million. Prosper — a partnership among two businessmen from western New York and the owner of home care agencies based in Westborough, Massachusetts — also bought the former Landmark property in Fall River for $14.1 million, according to records at the registry of deeds there.

The West Springfield transaction was recorded Jan. 6 at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.

‘It was just a really good opportunity,” said Russell Papia, president of the new Prosper Life Care. “One of the things was that when we came in, there were no major issues. The building is good. The staff is great. The residents are happy for the most part. We all need to get through COVID, of course.”

Papia, who lives in the Buffalo area, and partner Scot Sandel, the company CEO also of western New York, have decades of experience in the industry, he said. Equity partner Azriel Lieberman is from Massachusetts.

These two facilities are the first two, and at this point, the only properties Prosper Life Care owns. The company is focusing on assisted living centers that offer memory care to seniors.

“We are looking to grow and being extremely selective,” Papia said “We’re being extremely careful about how we grow,”

In West Springfield, the Roman Catholic Passionist Congregation built the property in the Spanish Colonial Revival style as the Our Mother of Sorrows Monastery and Retreat center in 1923. The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The Passionists sold the monastery and its 18 acres to Simsbury Associates in 1997. Simsbury Associates converted it into a 105-unit assisted-living center.

Papia said the chapel and stained glass windows were retained. But the assisted living center has no ties to the Passionists and is not a denominational or religious organization.

The 105-unit Prosper at Monastery Heights remains about 90% occupied despite the difficulties in operating under COVID-19 restrictions, Papia said.

The cost of living there varies. It depends on level of care and whether memory care is warranted. There are programs for low-income residents. But it averages $2,500 to $4,000 a month and includes three meals a day provided by a chef.

That puts Prosper at Monastery Heights squarely in what Papia called the middle class of assisted living facilities.

“We wanted communities that are going to fill that need,” he said.

Papia was meeting Monday with staff to set up COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. He said sales staff can give tours to prospective residents, but without any current residents nearby.

The facility has also curtailed group activities in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.