Some investors and developers in the seniors housing market are betting heavily that retired baby boomers will be willing and able to pay more for facilities with luxury amenities and many such places are already built or in the pipeline. These facilities, which cater to those of modest wealth and beyond, feature private chefs, arts classes, salon services and even entertainment venues. Demand has also returned for facilities that cater to very wealthy seniors who are willing to pay upwards of $6,500 per month for deluxe units. For this price, amenities include very personalized service and impressive beachfront view. For more on this continue reading the following article from National Real Estate Investor.
Upscale seniors housing living—also known as “concierge-level service”—has been revived , and now properties offering opulent services are opening across the country.
There are more than a few firms who are betting that baby boomers want more bling than what’s now available at the typical seniors residence. These companies include Indianapolis-based Mainstreet Property Group, a skilled nursing facilities developer that has branched out into acquiring and developing concierge-based health care properties with a hotel-like atmosphere for short- and long-term care. Mainstreet recently partnered with Life Care Services in opening a property in Avon, Ind. called Wellbrooke of Avon, which offers 100 units for rehabilitation and assisted living.
“We know that most baby boomers today—to put it bluntly—would rather die than go to what has for years been considered the typical nursing home,” says Zeke Turner, CEO of Mainstreet. “We don’t believe that the industry-average property is well-suited to take care of the next generation of users. We have to transform the way care is delivered to older Americans, and that means transforming the way the buildings look and feel.”
Mainstreet has developed 14 high-end properties, with 12 more in the pipeline, mostly in the Midwest and Texas. Turner says the properties, with a range of 100 to 150 units, come with private chefs, social amenities and arts classes. Amenities at Wellbrooke of Avon, for example, include four different dining venues, a movie theater, a fitness center and an on-site hair salon. “It’s comparable to a really nice boutique hotel,” he says. “And the users of these properties, while they are usually getting some sort of Medicare, are supplementing out of their pocket or with private insurance. It’s not just targeting the wealthy.”
Of course, there are also those properties that cater directly to the wealthier seniors. Belmont Village Senior Living is concentrating a number of its new openings in the affluent areas of Texas, with Turtle Creek now opening in Dallas. Another Texas property, the Conservatory at Plano, includes high-end amenities for seniors. The new $62 million Vivante on the Coast in Newport Beach, Calif. provides luxury in 185 resort-style units, with 40 units providing specialized care for memory-impaired residents, with monthly rents from $4,000 to $7,600. There’s even a new gay seniors resort opening in Santa Rosa, Calif. called Foutaingrove Lodge, by Oakmont Senior Living, with amenities that include a wine cave, gourmet dining, chauffeured transportation, concierge and valet services.
The 243-unit Palace at Coral Gables, which opened this summer in the South Florida city, cost $80 million, though the Palace Group had some assistance. The developer has a 99-year lease with the city of Coral Gables for the site, with the municipality getting a new public downtown parking garage in the deal. Adam Rosenblum, vice president of sales and marketing for the Palace Group, says the property matches the well-off residents of the city.
Coral Gables has a population of about 50,000 people and a median household income of about $89,000, according to the U.S. Census, about twice that of the median household income for the state of Florida. Rates at the Palace property start at $4,600 per month for a studio and go up to $6,500 for a two-bedroom unit, Rosenblum says. This is higher than the national average of $2,726 per month for independent living units, and $3,650 per month for assisted living units, according to recent data from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.
Rosenblum says the Palace was slightly delayed because of the economic downturn, but demand has remained steady in the region. “There was some waiting to see what would happen after the stock market and housing prices dropped” he says. “But as the South Florida real estate market is starting to rebound, it’s not back where it was, but our customers, the more affluent, weren’t really affected by the crash.”
The Palace has a copper roof dome, and a walkway connecting the property with the city’s Miracle Mile. The floors are made of marble, numerous crystal adorn the property, and the swimming pool has a ceiling painted to resemble the sky along with Mediterranean-style columns and painted canvas murals. The units have granite countertops, roll-out shelves, induction cooktops and views of downtown Miami.
To match the concierge experience, Palace employees use technology for monitoring and safety, but also have invested heavily in creating resident databases to cater to daily needs, Rosenblum says. “We survey our guests, and get information on what they like or want to be a part of,” he says. “If they like bridge, we can find them players. If a resident on the assisted living floor needs to take a bath at 6 p.m., we have that set and can help provide that.”
He says high-end is the next wave of new seniors housing properties, and his company is trying to follow suit. The Palace Group is working to modernize all of its properties, both in Florida and Tel Aviv, Israel. In Coral Gables, the clientele is mostly coming from the local area, and it makes sense to appeal to their desires. “They live an upscale lifestyle, with many of them coming from beautiful apartments and homes. They want the amenities and services that they are used to at their fingertips,” Rosenblum says.
This article was republished with permission from National Real Estate Investor.