Pending state approval, The Terraces Orleans will have a new owner in the fall: Commonwealth Senior Living Management based in Plymouth.
“We’ve actually been marketing the business for about four years,” said Terraces Director Mary Cote-Doyle whose uncle, Peter Meade, founded the family-run business at 60 Daley Terrace in1969. “We’re very, very particular about who we sell it to.”
Out-of-state corporations and big investor groups from New Jersey and elsewhere approached The Terraces with offers, but Cote-Doyle and her administrative colleagues were not interested. When Commonwealth approached The Terraces, it brought compatible qualities as Commonwealth is local and small. The Terraces has been working with the Commonwealth Group since November to reach an agreement on the sale.
On Monday, July 19, The Terraces held six separate meetings with various groups within the facility to introduce Commonwealth partner Robert Eisenstein and his nurse to residents and staff. Additionally, a letter was sent to residents’ families. The following day, a paid legal advertisement appeared announcing the potential sale and Commonwealth’s application for a transfer of license. The legal notice is also posted on the home page of The Terraces’s website.
The legal notice states that “there will be no changes in bed capacity or services at the facility.” Additionally, “a public hearing may be requested upon petition by any group of ten adults” by emailing HFLLicenseAction@state.ma.us within 14 days after the notice was posted, or until Aug. 3.
Cote-Doyle anticipates a three-month wait for the license transfer application to go through the state. The target date for the transfer is Oct. 15. “That’s when Bob Eisenstein will take the reins,” she said.
“We feel really happy, proud that we’re not going to put our residents in a situation that’s disruptive,” Cote-Doyle said. “We’ll keep staff and residents safe.”
The Terraces is a continuing care community with both a 24-hour skilled care nursing center and 19 independent senior living apartments.
The Terraces will be the first facility that Commonwealth, at 15 Richard’s Rd. in Plymouth, has bought. In December 2019 it launched as a “one-stop-shop for both management of nursing homes and assisted living communities, as well as providing expertise in the areas of suitability, licensing, transition planning and regulatory management for clients throughout Massachusetts,” according to its website.
On Monday, Eisenstein said Commonwealth is excited to carry on the tradition begun by Meade. The company will be dedicated to staff, residents and family “to provide a home-like environment that will make the Orleans community proud.” He believes Commonwealth’s purchase of The Terraces “will be a wonderful match.” He said he and The Terraces’s current administrators have an identical philosophy that revolves around “putting resident care and safety first and then financial success will follow.”
He emphasizes that Commonwealth is made up of local South Shore people. “We are very knowledgeable and familiar with Massachusetts state regulations,” he said. “We’re small. We’re like a small family company. The philosophy is the same.”
According to Eisenstein’s biography on the Commonwealth website, he graduated from Columbia University with a joint master’s degree in social work and public health. He received his nursing home administrator license in 1990. He serves as an adjunct professor at both Fisher and Quincy Colleges.
Cote-Doyle describes Commonwealth as a “great group” of nursing home administrators.
Eisenstein “wants to continue the legacy started here by my uncle,” she said, adding that Eisenstein “is very much about people. He wants to do the best by the senior population here on the Cape.”
The Terraces’s building is now 50 years old, and Commonwealth has committed itself to making capital improvements to the roof and septic system. It anticipates making cosmetic changes particularly to the terraces. As far as wages, benefits and salaries, there will be “no changes made,” Eisenstein said.
Commonwealth is listed in a certificate of organization filed with the Massachusetts Secretary of State on July 1 as Orleans SNF Opco. LLC. Eisenstein is named as the registered agent and manager. As such, Commonwealth has submitted an application to the Department of Public Health, Division of Health Care Facility Licensing and Certification, for a proposed change in licensing of The Terraces, whose current owner is listed as Orleans Convalescent Home, Inc.
Meade, who a Terraces resident described as “a legend” in Orleans, founded The Terraces in 1969 under the name Orleans Convalescent and Retirement Center. (The name was changed in 2011.) The Terraces “was my uncle’s life, his passion,” Cote-Doyle said. “He was a great guy. They broke the mold. He was very dedicated.”
In 1994, when Meade was ailing, Cote-Doyle’s husband, Mark Doyle, took over as administrator. Doyle retired two years ago, leaving Cote-Doyle as the sole family member still involved in running the Terraces. At this point, “no one else in the family wants to carry it forward,” she said. At 63, Cote-Doyle is not sure if she will retire soon after the sale or not.
Cote-Doyle said she is confident that Commonwealth will be an excellent fit for The Terraces. “We feel very, very good about it.”