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Published: Friday, 5/7/2010

Health Care REIT report is upbeat


While other investment trusts were staking out defensive positions last year, Health Care REIT Inc., of Toledo was going successfully in the opposite direction, the company's chairman said yesterday.

The real-estate investment trust last year raised money, sold assets to increase its liquidity, and made more than $700 million in investments, "which was quite an accomplishment in a very tough year," George Chapman told shareholders at the firm's annual meeting in downtown Toledo.

Officials said after the 16-minute meeting that the company will start moving into its new headquarters on Dorr Street on Labor Day weekend. It bought the former headquarters of Dana Holding Corp. and will move out of its space in Fifth Third Center at One SeaGate downtown.

In what should have been a difficult 2009, Health Care REIT instead had a lot of positive news, said Mr. Chapman, who also is company president and chief executive. Health Care REIT had a profit of $171 million, got positive ratings from Standard & Poor's, and was added to the S&P 500 index last year. Last week, the company declared its 156th consecutive dividend.

Health Care REIT, Mr. Chapman said, has invested in all phases of senior retirement housing, from early stage housing to acute-care facilities. But it also has invested in hospitals and science labs.

"That gives us a significant advantage over any other health-care REIT that we compete with," he said.

"We can choose the best risk-reward relationship, and when senior housing is overpriced, we can move to medical facilities and vice versa."

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