Lifespace Communities CCRC files for bankruptcy, sues landlord

Lifespace Communities continuing care retirement community Edgemere Dallas filed for bankruptcy Thursday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, citing challenges from managing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to a winter storm in February 2021. The community also sued its landlord.

The continuing care retirement community said in a press release that it is working to restructure under Chapter 11 protections and will remain fully operational throughout the process. Edgemere is seeking court approval for debtor-in-possession financing provided by UMB Bank, as indenture trustee, to help fund and protect its operations during the process.

“Edgemere is confident that it will gain long-term financial flexibility and stability by reaching a permanent resolution with its financial stakeholders through this process,” the company said.

Edgemere Dallas and Lifespace announced Dec. 31 that they had entered into a forbearance agreement with UMB Bank as they worked toward an agreement among all parties to “strengthen the community’s financial position for the long term and achieve a more sustainable future.” The entities announced a new agreement in March to extend the discussion period.

“The agreement provides us with the opportunity to continue productive conversations with our stakeholders,” Lifespace Communities President and CEO Jesse Jantzen said at the time.

Also on Thursday, Edgemere Dallas filed a lawsuit against its landlord, Intercity Investments, and its agent, Kong Capital, alleging breach of contract, promissory fraud, tortious interference with business and contractual obligations, civil conspiracy and equitable subordination, among other claims. The CCRC said it intends to pursue the lawsuit “vigorously.”

Lifespace became the sole owner and operator of Edgemere in 2019 after closing on an affiliation with Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp. The previous year, the family of a suspected murder victim of alleged serial killer Billy Chemirmir settled a lawsuit against the CCRC, according to the Dallas Morning News, which in 2019 reported that the CCRC faced two additional lawsuits related to Chemirmir. Chemirmir faces 18 counts of capital murder in the deaths of older adults, mostly female residents of senior living communities.

“Edgemere has entered into this process with support of its bondholders and Lifespace Communities, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to our residents as we work through this process in a manner that will allow current and future residents to enjoy all that Edgemere has to offer for many years to come.” Jantzen said in a statement. “The only outstanding piece is resolution with the landlord and its agents, and we have filed a lawsuit against them alleging claims for their actions over the last year.”

Representatives from Intercity Investments and Kong Capital did not respond to requests from the McKnight’s Business Daily before the production deadline.

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