Senior Housing Meets Luxury Living
Senior Housing Meets Luxury Living
The first residents at the Atria at Villages of Windsor moved in on December 7th to the $105 million senior housing community in suburban Lake Worth, FL.
They’ll have access to a salon and barber shop, a full-service restaurant, a pool and fitness center, a movie theater, an auditorium, yoga classes and chauffeured transportation for errands and other trips.
“You’ll never be busier not lifting a finger,” the website tells prospective renters.
Atria is one of a new breed of retirement communities in South Florida that combine luxury living with continuing care for aging baby boomers. Senior housing is increasingly becoming a burgeoning sector of commercial real estate as developers look to replace outdated nursing homes and address the changing needs of today’s seniors.
From 2010 to 2020, the population of Florida residents ages 65 and above is projected to increase 35 percent to 4.39 million, according to figures from the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. Over the same period, 65-plus populations are similarly expected to grow by 35 percent in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Palm Beach County’s senior population is projected to jump 24 percent.
“Part of it is marketing to the residents, and then also to their adult children,” said Bruce Gibson, principal of the North Miami-based Senior Capital Advisors, a brokerage that focuses on senior housing projects. “They want their mom and dad to live in a facility that has a pool, maybe rooftop dining or a dog park.”
Atria and other senior housing complexes like it feature independent-living apartments, assisted-living residences and memory-care units in different buildings on the same campus. Atria is a rental community that offers custom leases for tenants, with monthly rents ranging from $4,000 to $11,000.
Other facilities, including the Sanai Residences of Boca Raton, require flat-fee buy-ins of hundreds of thousands of dollars, though most of that investment is refundable when the residents move out or pass away.
Atria sits on 22.5 acres at 9130 Hypoluxo Road. The developer, Big Rock Partners of Delray Beach, FL and Beverly Hills, CA, says the development has the look and feel of a resort.
“The interest has been amazing,” said Michael Brown, executive director of Atria. “We thought it was going to be a strong market. But even we were surprised at the velocity of interest. There’s been a constant stream of inquiries.”
These senior housing communities have been built on large tracts west of Interstate 95, but those are increasingly harder to find in land-constrained South Florida. So some developers are looking at smaller parcels closer to the coast.
Houston-based Belmont Village Senior Living is planning a 12-story complex at 1031 Seminole Dr. in east Fort Lauderdale, just north of the Galleria Mall. It will offer a managed fitness program, Wi-Fi throughout the building, housekeeping services and a technology center. It’s expected to open in summer 2019.
Likewise, Canadian developer Jean Francois Roy is moving forward with plans to build a senior community on less than an acre in downtown Fort Lauderdale, at 333 N. New River Dr. E, just two blocks south of Las Olas Boulevard and overlooking the New River.
The 42-story Riverwalk Residences of Las Olas will feature 401 units, about half for independent living and the other half dedicated to different levels of care. The independent-living residents will come and go through a separate entrance from the residents who need more intensive care, Roy said.
Amenities there will include restaurants, a rooftop bar, an on-site market and a spa. Doctors’ offices also will be located in the building.
Fort Lauderdale city commissioners approved Roy’s plan earlier this year over the objections of nearby condo owners, who insisted the project would overwhelm their building and would not be a good use of a prime downtown parcel.
Roy said he hopes to break ground next summer and open by 2021.
“It’s a lifestyle,” he told CoStar News. “We’re trying to keep people active. We’re very excited about this.”
Roy said he’s scouting for more urban sites in South Florida.
Anthony Trella, a building consultant in Deerfield Beach, FL, said senior housing offers plenty of opportunity for developers across the region.
“If a builder can find land in South Florida that’s priced right, where they can make the numbers work, there’s going to be tremendous demand for this product,” he said. “The demographics are very powerful, especially in an attractive state like Florida.”