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U.S. companies expand in China as senior care restrictions relax

August 22, 2013
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Columbia Pacific Capital Management is taking advantage of relaxed restrictions in China to build facilities for that country’s burgeoning elderly population, which stands at almost 200 million and is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades.

The Seattle-based company, with Sino-Ocean Land, a real estate developer in China, has opened a 60,000-square-foot senior living facility in Beijing. Through its China-based affiliate, Cascade Healthcare (called Kaijian in China), Columbia Pacific is no stranger to building facilities in China, but the new Beijing facility is the first project constructed under a partnership with Cascade Healthcare and Sino-Ocean Land to build and jointly manage facilities in China. Columbia Pacific says it is the first senior care facility in Beijing built as a joint venture between a Chinese company and a foreign company.

The newly opened 110-bed senior living facility, called Senior Living L’Amore, aims to provide residential senior care. Cascade Healthcare and Sino-Ocean Land each put up 50 percent of the registered capital of the new facility and will jointly oversee project operations.

Partnering with Columbia Pacific, Emeritus Corp. is providing Cascade Healthcare with support in planning and layout; interior design and furnishings; selection and purchasing of specialty equipment; training of facility executive directors, nurses and caregivers; development of operating policies and procedures; and successful integration of hospitality and healthcare services. Columbia Pacific’s chairman, Daniel R. Baty, is a co-founder and chairman of the board of Emeritus.

In 2011, the Chinese government relaxed restrictions to enable foreign companies to build senior care facilities in China. Months later, Cascade Healthcare was the first foreign-owned company to receive permission to build, according to the company. Cascade Healthcare opened its first senior care facility in China in late 2012. That 100-bed, 50,000-square-foot facility, called Kaijian Huazhan Senior Care Service, is in a residential neighborhood of Shanghai. Cascade Healthcare will open a third facility, also in Shanghai, in the fall.

The Chinese government will further simplify procedures and reduce administrative fees to enable foreign and private groups to operate homes and provide services for the elderly, according to a statement by the State Council of China released Aug. 16 and reported in several media outlets. Currently, much elder care is provided by the government and families.

Among those attending the Aug. 21 opening of the Beijing senior living facility were U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke as well as the president and CEO of Sino-Ocean Land, the managing director of Columbia Pacific, the president and CEO of Emeritus and representatives of the Chinese government.

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