Our Principals

David Watkins

David Watkins, CFA, Partner

David formed SHA Capital Partners in 2013 and manages all aspects of the firm’s value-add investment strategy, including client relationships, transactions, financing, and asset management.  Previously, David led Heitman, a $35 billion real estate investment advisory firm, into the senior housing sector and completed $600 million of transactions.

​David served on the Board of Directors of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing and Care Industries (www.NIC.org). David sits on the Editorial Board of InvestigAge, a Mather Lifeways resource on senior housing. ​He is a Fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute, has published numerous research papers, including a NIC “Best Paper” award winner, and has spoken at various conferences including NIC, ARES, ERES, and NCREIF.

David is a CFA charter holder, earned an MBA (finance and statistics) from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and a BA (cum laude) from Amherst College. He has been a Trustee of Fourth Presbyterian Church and serves on its property committee.

Douglas Cooper

Douglas A. Cooper, Partner

Doug joined SHA Capital Partners in 2016 and launched the firm’s development strategy, building on 30 years of experience in the industry. He manages all aspects of the firm’s development activity, including determining economic attractiveness, selecting an operating partner, zoning changes, design specification, and engineering.

Previously, Doug served as an acquisitions director at Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG), contributing to the firm’s $1.8 billion acquisition of 60 senior housing communities. He developed property for Melvin Simon Associates, the predecessor to Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), Union Realty Partners, Inc., and Quadrangle Development Corp. During his career, he has developed more than five million square feet of commercial property valued at over $1.5 billion.

​​Doug earned an MS degree in real estate and urban development from American University and a BS in building construction from Virginia Tech University. He completed the Advanced Management Development Program at Harvard University.

Operating Partners

Encore Senior Living
Encore Senior Living, Chicago, IL
Integracare, Pittsburgh, PA
Kisco Senior Living
Kisco Senior Living, Carlsbad, CA


Integrity, alignment of interests, communication and a highly analytical approach underpin SHA Capital Partners’ approach to investing in senior housing.

Compass pointing toward the word values


SHA Capital Partners believes in doing the right thing with the interests of community residents, joint venture partners, and investors at the forefront of our actions.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, SHA Capital Partners emphasized the importance of protecting residents and staff members, realizing that personal protective equipment, hazard pay, and bonuses would eliminate profitability for a period of time. Operating partners then had the freedom to focus on safety and long-term viability without worrying about short-term profits. Through the pandemic, SHA communities have operated with minimal disruption and with reputations intact.

SHA Capital Partners and its operating partners have significant capital participation in each investment along with an incentive structure to motivate favorable performance.  If residents thrive, the community will be full and the operator of the community will do well. If the operator does well, SHA Capital Partners’ investors will do well.

SHA Capital Partners prioritizes ongoing communication with operating partners, development partners, and investors.

The firm has standing weekly or monthly meetings as appropriate for the situation. SHA Capital Partners’ asset management standards call for monthly written updates on operations that include commentary and a comparison of actual results to budget. Ongoing communication of good news and bad news enables timely corrective action (if necessary) and leads to fewer surprises and better results.

The firm combines the skills of a real estate researcher turned investor and a thoughtful developer/investor, both of whom insist on understanding the market and the competitive advantage of the prospective investment or development.

Economic statistics, industry data, construction trends, and visits to the market area provide insight and form the basis for building an investment model. The model then goes through a series of stress tests and reasonableness checks to identify risks and reveal logical steps to mitigate the risks.