MaineGeneral Health is planning to sell its Granite Hill Estates senior living facility to a Massachusetts-based senior living provider.

MaineGeneral Health Chief Operating Officer Paul Stein said Wednesday that the company has signed a letter of intent to sell the senior living facility to Northbridge Companies, which operates senior living communities in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Stein said negotiations are ongoing.

MaineGeneral Heath operates the Alfond Center for Health, also known as MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta; Augusta Family Medicine; Gardiner Family Medicine; and other healthcare facilities throughout the region.

Granite Hill Estates sits on a 135-acre parcel that straddles the town line between Manchester and Hallowell. Its facilities house about 150 residents, age 62 and older, in apartments and cottage homes in both independent-living and assisted-living arrangements. The complex also houses an early memory loss care unit.

According to Hallowell property records, where the Granite Hill Estates has the bulk of its property on six parcels, its land and buildings are valued at $18.2 million for taxation purposes on which property tax of nearly $360,000 was assessed in the 2019 fiscal year.

The main lodge at Granite Hill Estates in Hallowell on Thursday. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Jack Smart, who has lived in Granite Hill Estates for five years, learned of the pending sale Wednesday at a meeting of the residents.

Smart, 94, said he and his neighbors were surprised by the announcement.

“We’re not sure yet if there will be changes,” he said. “My opinion of the people who are going to buy it, they seem like pretty solid people.”

Smart said he has enjoyed living at Granite Hill, which he and his late wife learned about when his brother and sister-in-law moved there several years ago.

“The food is good, and the whole staff is really super,” he said. “We’re very pleased to be here.”

Stein said employees and residents shouldn’t see many changes due to the switch in ownership. He said Northbridge Companies has pledged to offer all 40 of Granite Hill’s existing employees positions in the new organization. He said no changes are expected for residents, and the agreements and contracts will be transferred.

Stein said MaineGeneral Health’s primary focus as a company was not on senior living, so the complex could see improvements under Northbridge’s umbrella.

“Over time, I hope (residents) see enhancements,” he said. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done up there, but … (Northbridge) knows this business inside and out.”

MaineGeneral Health has been the sole owner of Granite Hill Estates since 2004.

Northbridge Companies, which is privately owned, operates 15 properties in New England, including five senior living facilities in Maine, two in Brunswick, two in Westbrook and one in Wells.

Requests for an interview were not returned by the company on Wednesday or Thursday.

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