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SAN FRANCISCO-A division of San Mateo-based Westlake Development Co. is selling its six-property portfolio of seniors housing properties to Merrill Gardens, a Seattle-based owner and operator of senior housing communities. The $126-million, 1,000-unit transaction is expected to close at the end of the year.

The properties range from 126 units and 203 units and are located in the cities of Rohnert Park, Fremont, Vacaville, Manteca, Sonoma and Vallejo. The buildings are all two- and three-story wood frame buildings containing studio, one- and two-bedroom units. A source at Merrill Gardens tells GlobeSt.com the properties all are stable, but did not provide an overall occupancy.

Merrill Gardens is owned by the R.D. Merrill Co. The company entered the senior housing market 12 years ago with one community in Seattle. With this acquisition, the 2,700-employee company now controls 8,741 units in 70 communities in 12 states, including 15 in California. The company posted revenues of $159 million in 2004, making it one of the largest privately held seniors housing company in the US and the largest operator of senior housing in Washington.

Merrill Gardens president Bill Pettit says his company continues to seek out additional acquisitions. It is focusing its growth initiative on the West Coast, particularly Washington and California, where nearly half of its properties are located.

A representative of Westlake Development Co. could not be reached Monday for comment and its website was inoperable. According to the website of its branding company, Westlake is a real estate management, development, and investment company with a diverse 30-property portfolio and 600 employees.

The following is a brief look at each of the properties acquired:

  • Merrill Gardens at Rohnert Park (formerly known as the Springs), 4855 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, CA, which is 60 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County. This 174-unit property includes a three-story wood frame and stucco building with a combination of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building sits on five acres with an outdoor swimming pool and rose garden.
  • Merrill Gardens at Fremont (formerly known as Country Inn), 2860 Country Dr., Fremont, CA, which is 37 miles southeast of San Francisco. This three-story wood frame and stucco building has 203 units in a combination of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool and fitness area.
  • Merrill Gardens at Vacaville (formerly known as Leisure Gardens), 799 Yellowstone Dr., Vacaville, CA, which is 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. The 158-unit development sits on 7.4 acres with gardens, a courtyard and putting greens. The apartments are one- and two-bedroom units in a three-story wood frame building.
  • Merrill Gardens at Manteca (formerly known as Leisure Manor), 430 North Union Rd., Manteca, CA, which is located between Stockton and Modesto. The 126-unit property consists of studio, one- and two-bedroom units in a 95,000-sf, two-story wood and stucco building.
  • Merrill Gardens at Sonoma (formerly known as Wine Country Inn), 800 Oregon St., Sonoma, CA, which is 46 miles north of San Francisco. The property includes 163 studio, one- and two-bedroom units in a two-story wood frame building in historic Sonoma. Amenities include a garden area and pond.
  • Merrill Gardens at Vallejo (formerly known as Gold Country Inn), 1350 Locust Dr., Vallejo, CA, which is 33 miles northeast of San Francisco. The property offers 156 studio, one- and two-bedroom units in a three-story wood frame building that sits on a hill overlooking San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.
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