Architecture & Design, Construction, and Real Estate

Can current market deliver stylish senior housing?

May 3, 2017
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The demand for senior living facilities is at an all-time high, thanks to the economy and thriving housing market. These new facilities are not the nursing homes of past, but upscale senior communities complete with star amenities and independence.

The demand for single-family housing has steadily increased for the past few years, allowing those approaching their senior years more freedom than ever before. Seniors are able to sell their large family homes, taking their equity with them to adopt a more simplistic lifestyle — without compromising comfort. Priorities shift as individuals age and today’s senior is more interested in experiences and living the way they want to, versus caring for a large homestead and other big-ticket items.

Builders are seeing an increase in the “age in place model” of senior living, where communities begin as independent condos or family homes, offering increased levels of care as individuals age. Residents can start in a condo and then move to skilled nursing while continuing to live in their independent spaces. There also are options to move into assisted living or memory care units depending on need. Seniors are choosing to move into these communities because they know that when they will need more assistance, they are set up and prepared for their long-term future. These types of communities become an all-in-one care and living epicenter.

This marked shift in what luxury senior living has developed into is affecting big cities nationwide — like Philadelphia, Detroit and Columbus — where large communities of baby boomers are aging together. These boomers are accustomed to living a comfortable lifestyle and it is important to them to maintain that comfort or independence. To appease this growing population, senior living communities are starting to incorporate sought-after amenities to fit their interests. Triangle Associates is currently building over $100 million in senior living facilities in Michigan and Ohio that are designed to fit this demand. These facilities utilize the “age in place model” and include a “Main Street” feel that includes conveniences like a library, theater, chapel, dining options, solarium and courtyard with putting greens. These complexes are being built to attract aging individuals with similar interests who want to spend more time making memories.

Senior living is an aggressive market, and many new centers are being constructed to competitively offer the latest and greatest care and conveniences. With an influx of baby boomers nearing — or already in — retirement, this trend does not seem to be slowing down.

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