Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2015

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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32 Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2015 Developers incorporate elements of single-family homes into their market- rate and affordable product design to attract residents. of senior apartments emerges n Development By Jane Adler Apartments without services could be the next hot product category in the seniors housing sector. Developers are quietly experimenting with a range of upscale projects that in many respects mimic active adult commu- nities that offer single-family homes for persons age 55 and up. Similar to the projects pioneered by developer Del Webb, the new apartment communities are designed to appeal to younger seniors seeking an amenity-rich environment. The apartment projects may not boast golf courses, but they often feature the latest lifestyle offerings sought by new retirees. Yoga studios and upscale cafes are commonplace today at senior apartments. Unlike active adult communities with single-family homes, the new projects are targeting apartment rent- ers. These seniors probably owned a house at some point, but now they are renters by choice and not tied to a par- ticular place for the long term. That gives them fexibility to move and rent elsewhere if their circumstances change, such as when adult children and grandchil- dren move away. At the same time, affordable apartments — the mainstay of the senior apartment category — are getting a facelift as devel- opers add fne fnishes and details to their projects. The buildings continue to lease up easily and perform well fnancially. Affordable apartments for seniors often have waiting lists of applicants, and build- ing owners want to keep it that way. So they're boosting unit size, adding granite countertops and designing new types of common areas to appeal to new retirees. "The demand for apartments from Baby Boomers will continue to rise," pre- dicts Dave Erickson, director of devel- opment in the Naperville, Ill., offce of Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. U.S. Inc. He adds that both affordable and market-rate apartments will be popular. "The demo- graphics are there." Azulon at Mesa Verde apparently hit the sweet spot. The market-rate apartment project in Costa Mesa, Calif., which targets persons age 55 and over, was fully leased in less than 10 months and has a 50-person waiting list. "We got the timing and the market niche just right," says Jeff Reese, project manager at Costa Mesa-based MV Partners, the developer of Azulon. MV Partners is affli- ated with C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, the family that developed and owns the high-profle South Coast Plaza, an upscale retail cen- ter in Orange County. Reese attributes the fast success at Azulon to a combination of demand for a high-quality, age-restricted rental option and the property's superior location. Wow them, not underwhelm them The 215-unit Azulon at Mesa Verde opened last October. Monthly rents range from approximately $1,700 to $2,500. Floor plans are available with one-bedroom/one bath; one-bedroom, plus den, and one-and- a-half baths; and two-bedroom, two baths. The development offers no services, but it is located adjacent to the Mesa Verde Center, a shopping center owned by the Segerstrom family. The center features a supermarket, CVS drugstore, Starbucks cof- fee shop, restaurants, a hair salon and other retailers. Residents of Azulon can walk to Version 2.0 Azulon at Mesa Verde was fully leased in less than 10 months. The upscale, age-restricted apartment project in Costa Mesa, Calif., has Spanish-style architecture and features 215 units. Amenities include an outdoor pool, patios and gardens. Photo credit: Chet Frohlich Photography. While afordable apartments are easy to fll, picking the right location for the market- rate projects is key, says Dave Erickson, director of development, Ryan Cos. U.S. Inc.

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