Belmont Village Senior Living is in the process of building its first location in Mexico through a joint venture with a local development group.
The assisted living and memory care community is part of a mixed-use high-rise complex that will also house a 119-room hotel and 13,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor along with the hotel’s lobby. The development includes a 50,000-square-foot office building next door that will share underground parking with the hotel, retail, and senior living community.
Belmont Village’s part of the tower will have about 118,000 square feet and be located on floors 1-10, while the hotel will be located on floors 11-18. Similar in size to the provider’s U.S. communities, the Mexico City community will have 135 units comprised of 67 assisted living apartments, 34 units designated for those with mild cognitive impairments, and 34 dementia care units.
The new community is sited directly across the street from what Will called Mexico City’s premier hospital. The buildings will be connected by a skybridge, and the high-rise will also be next to a medical office building that’s part of the development.
Belmont Village has been working on the project since early last year with a local development group whom Patricia Will, founder and CEO of the company, declined to disclose.
“This is really the beginning of the industry,” she says. Greater Mexico City (the city itself along with the metropolitan area) has a population of about 20 million, but a very limited number of assisted living and memory care units and almost no private sector memory care offerings. “It’s very undersupplied,” says Will.
There are a few other senior living projects that have been done “quite successfully,” she says, including a relatively recent independent living project by a local group in Mexico City.
Some other endeavors have been undertaken by not-for-profits, too, Will says, many of which are affiliated with religious institutions and have been very successful with respect to occupancy—indicating room for more supply.
“In this first foray in Mexico, we’re targeting Mexican nationals,” Will says, alluding to a longer-term strategy to launch a senior living business in Mexico that primarily targets American and Canadian ex-patriots.
The entrance of Will’s company into Mexico has a personal connection, as her stepfather (who raised her) is Mexican.
“I spent every summer of my life in Mexico growing up; I have Mexican residency, a home in Mexico, and I speak fluent Spanish,” Will says. “My parents had a multinational, U.S./Mexico business. They’re retired, but by osmosis I have a much greater affinity for, and understanding of, the challenges of a U.S./Mexican joint venture.”
The other thing Will loves about Mexico: “It looks easy [for senior living development] compared to China.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace