Our History

Sandy River is a free-flowing river that begins in the mountains of Western Maine and meanders through the college town of Farmington where eventually its waters empty into the Kennebec River and on out to sea. Smalls Fall is located in Rangeley near the beginning of the Sandy River and has a series of five “drops” through a narrow gorge that challenge extreme kayakers. We are pleased to feature the photography of John Wallace (kayakpsych.com) in our website.

It is that passion, determination, beauty and spirit that led David Friedman in 1974 to call upon the name of the river to help define a body of work that would begin with a real estate brokerage business and evolve into a highly respected and socially responsible development company. By the early 80’s the seeds were planted for what would grow to become one of the largest privately held healthcare companies in Maine. In 1983, Sandy River Nursing Care Center opened its doors with a new approach to nursing homes designed with several “houses” and a more homelike environment for elderly and caregivers. At the same time, Sandy River was arranging financing for such businesses as Associated Grocers in Gardiner, Maine, Shape Video in Sanford, Maine, and a ski resort in Pennsylvania The mid-80’s also brought the development and property management of a 200,000 SF shopping center in Mid-Coast Maine.

However, it would be the development of the nursing home that would serve as the cornerstone of the work ahead. By the mid 1990’s, Sandy River had developed numerous nursing care and assisted living projects with various operating partners. In 1996, Sandy River took on a new path by buying out its operating partners and creating Sandy River Health System, an integrated system of over a dozen healthcare facilities including RiverRidge, the state’s first traumatic brain injury rehab center and Sedgewood Commons, the state’s first multi-level 100% Alzheimer’s care center. Sandy River also developed more upscale assisted living facilities such as Harbor Hill in Belfast and Windward Gardens in Camden.

After successfully operating its portfolio of facilities, Sandy River represented the partners of the facilities on a sale of the operating companies to Genesis HealthCare Corporation in 2007. The partners continue to own the real estate and lease the buildings to Genesis HealthCare with Sandy River Company representing the owners. While Sandy River no longer operates its original portfolio of facilities in Maine, Sandy River Company continues to offer its long history of experience in healthcare and senior care by providing transaction services, development services, financing services and advisory services to clients both in Maine and throughout the United States. The three principals of Sandy River Company are also partners with Northbridge Companies on the development of memory care assisted living centers in suburban Boston and Maine, to include a senior care campus being developed in Westbrook, Maine. Sandy River Company provides consulting services to these projects and other clients in New England and beyond.