Sophisticated assisted living and senior care developments look more like resorts than the traditional ‘old folks home’
As America’s senior population swells to an unprecedented volume — 62 million seniors, almost double the number of seniors at the turn of the century — luxury senior care and assisted living development is on the rise in Arizona.
Thankfully, assisted living no longer means sending Mom where bingo is all she looks forward to. Many developers in the assisted living field are building contemporary, sophisticated senior care facilities to accommodate expensive tastes and active lifestyles. These residencies are opulent and lavish, more like resorts than the gloomy, industrialized “old folks homes” of decades past.
When considering livability factors, such as decreased mobility or heightened sensitivity to cold, Arizona’s flat terrain and temperate climate are a natural draw for seniors. In the past several years, senior housing has been the most active type of development in Scottsdale.
Anticipating the influx of a mammoth demographic, several senior care facilities are in the planning and developmental stages.
Orchard Pointe, a 104-unit assisted living apartment facility in Surprise, broke ground in March. Developed by Heritage Management Services and Telis Commercial Real Estate, Orchard Pointe will open in spring 2013.
Mark Huey, president of Telis Commercial Real Estate, says Orchard Pointe will “bring a Midwestern ethic of care and concern to the Valley, packaged in a high-luxury lifestyle.”
Mountain West Contracting is general contractor and RAR Architects is the architect.
In Tucson, The Freshwater Group is building a new assisted living community called Hacienda at the River.
Hacienda at the River will provide remarkable taste and services, from greenhouses on site to serve organic foods in dining facilities to an all-pets-welcome policy.
Hacienda will also raise horses on site for equine therapy for residents with memory affliction, dementia, and other animal therapy aids.
David Freshwater, president of the Freshwater Group, says the revolution in senior care is palpable.
“Our spas, workout rooms, and cafes look more like Starbucks and LA Fitness rather than the traditional old folks homes,” he says. “They really, truly have changed in design to reflect the different clientele than who we’ve been serving the last 25 years.”
Hacienda at the River is still in the design phase. “It will be assisted living, Alzheimer’s or what we call ‘memory care,’ as well as skilled nursing and rehabilitation,” Freshwater says.
Maravilla Scottsdale, which was scheduled to open in May, will also cater to epicurean tastes. Boasting multiple landscaped courtyards, a cinema, Internet lounge, chip-and-putt golf course, spa, and multiple dining venues, Maravilla Scottsdale is indisputably of the new generation of assisted living.
The 120,000 SF facility offers 178 apartment-style living units and 39 villa-type living units, plus common areas such as the lodge, fitness center, commercial kitchens, and an indoor swimming pool.
The Weitz Company is building Maravilla Scottsdale. It’s also the general contractor for Sagewood, a multi-phase retirement community comprised of 12 casitas, four villas and eight buildings housing independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing units in North Phoenix.
Sagewood offers diversity in the levels of care provided, often easing the transition from minimal to increased living assistance.
Future phase expansions are planned to complete this site’s development. Once completed, the community in its entirety will carry the promise of progressive living in an environment that emphasizes choice, flexibility and independence for its residents, says Kelly Billings of the Weitz Company.
Scottsdale’s The Colonnade, another resort-style assisted living facility, opened in 2004. Now, The Colonnade will break ground later this year on the second phase of construction, adding villa type housing units to its existing residencies.
The developer behind The Colonnade is Sun Health, an up-and-coming player in the healthcare industry.
“Our standard finishes are high end, including full GE appliance packages, wood line window covering, and ceramic tile flooring,” says Sharon Grambow, Sun Health’s senior living coordinator. “Residents can select premium package upgrades, including quartzite countertops and cherry cabinetry tile with diamond metal decorative inserts.”
Belmont Village Scottsdale, a three-story assisted living apartment building, contains of 136 units — 111 independent living apartments and 25 dementia care units — at the 100,000 SF facility. It sits on a 4.17-acre site with a courtyard pool and walking path.
Houston-based Belmont Village AP has 20 assisted living facilities in seven states, and opened its Scottsdale location in February. This project cost more than $30M, says Belmont CEO Patricia Will. Located southeast of 100th St. and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., the community was built by W.E. O’Neil Construction.
Vi at Silverstone also opened in 2010 on 32 acres and offers 270 independent-living units to Northeast Valley seniors. Developed by The Plaza Companies, built by Summit Builders and designed by DAVIS, the $195M project is all about individual preferences.
More importantly, says Sharon Harper of The Plaza Companies, it offers seniors an abundance of choices.
“People have all kinds of choices in terms of size and location, and they really can customize what they would like,” Harper says. “There’s a vibrancy embedded in the neighborhood and the greater community and that creates excitement and the opportunity to continue to be educated. We offer innovation, fitness and overall wellness.”