By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Henry Ford Village senior living community filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 28 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Michigan.
According to the court docket, the Dearborn-based retirement community has assets listed between $50 million to $100 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.
A sale of the 35-acre community could be possible to pay off its debts which continued to grow because of low occupancy and increased costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The retirement community plans to remain open during the bankruptcy proceedings until a buyer is found to take over operations, according to Senior Housing News.
Last year, Henry Ford Village reached a settlement agreement in principle where the retirement community and other defendants paid $800,000. The class action suit was filed in 2014 by parties seeking repayment of their refundable entrance fees, the court documents read.
A motion seeking relief from paying the class action settlement was denied in court Oct. 22, according to Senior Housing News.
When the coronavirus hit, the senior living community was unable to complete a refinancing plan and in October Henry Ford Village received a notice of default on its bond obligations.
The 1,083-bed living community is located on the site of Henry Ford’s birthplace in Dearborn and was developed by Erickson Retirement Communities in the 1990s before it was acquired by Henry Ford Village in 1998. Since 2010, Des Moines, Iowa-based Life Care Services has been operating the community.
Henry Ford Village Executive Director Bruce Blalock released a statement on the living community’s financial struggles in a press release.
“This financial restructuring will allow us to achieve our goals while continuing to serve our residents with the highest level of service and care, and continuing to provide the resources, support and amenities they have come to enjoy and rely on while keeping COVID-19 safety protocols,” Blalock wrote. “We are immensely grateful for our employees — who have worked tirelessly to transform our operations in light of the pandemic — and we are confident they will continue to engage residents in new, exciting and safe ways throughout this process.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])