Our team has more than twenty years of experience creating exceptional communities and together, we create places that are unlike anything you’d ever expect from a retirement community. We’re incredibly proud of our history, and because of it, we’re poised for a very bright future.
In 1985, David Freshwater, Chairman, founded The Fountains and over the next two decades, he developed, owned and operated, for himself, for his investors and for third parties, a wide range of seniors housing communities recognized as both innovative and successful. Under David’s leadership and through the efforts of his team, The Fountains grew into one of the nation’s top 25 seniors housing owners and operators.
David Barnes, President, joined The Fountains in 1989, and ultimately served as Senior Vice President of Operations. Often traveling to Fountains communities to manage onsite programs, Barnes developed the systems, policies and training materials essential for the successful growth of The Fountains. Years later as President of Watermark Retirement Communities, he continues to build upon these models, but over the years they’ve proven to be scalable, flexible and they’ve stood the test of time.
From 1991 through 1997, The Fountains’ portfolio grew from a fractional share of 260 units to 100% ownership of nearly 4,000 units/beds in 14 communities, with reported assets of $220 million, gross revenues of $42 million and a net operating income of nearly $4 million. During this period, The Fountains won numerous awards and accolades, including induction into the Order of Excellence by Contemporary Long Term Care magazine, selection by the American Seniors Housing Association as one of its Case Studies in Success and one of Top Six Retirement Communities in America by Money.
All that praise and success didn’t go unnoticed. On July 1, 2005, with annual revenues on 4,829 units topping nearly $200 million, producing an NOI of over $50 million, The Fountains was acquired by Sunrise Senior Living for approximately $500 million, one of the largest such transactions in the history of the seniors housing industry.
Believe it or not, after all those years and all that success, the sale of the company didn’t slow our extraordinary momentum. Leveraging their outstanding reputation and track record, Freshwater and Barnes have turned to a new challenge: teaming up to fulfill a longstanding dream to own and create innovative and different kinds of communities to serve an emerging new market. After all, the best part of success is making it there together as a team, and Watermark Retirement Communities is doing just that.