WSJ: Developers Target Retirement Communities, Luxury-Style

Some senior housing developers are finding renewed success in the market for luxury retirement home communities, according to a Wall Street Journal report. 

Catering to senior residents with high-end services such as movie theaters, Zumba classes, sushi chefs, and services geared toward very active living, some developers are looking to capitalize on this luxury group approaching retirement. 

View WSJ slideshow of communities


The Wall Street Journal reports

…Developers are also rushing to build more units and new communities to cash in on baby boomers as they hit retirement age. By 2020, the share of U.S. households over 55 years old could hit 46.6%, up from 42% in 2012, according to the NAHB.

This group tends to embrace an active retirement, with many boomers planning a move to age-focused communities while they can still enjoy themselves instead of waiting until it is medically necessary. “They’re going to be a very demanding group,” said Donna Herbst, a regional director with Atria Senior Living, a Louisville, Ky.-based chain of nearly 130 senior communities nationwide.


Today’s 55-and-older communities boast everything from entertainment areas with videogames and computers to state-of-the-art gyms with personal trainers and activities like age-modified Zumba and belly-dancing classes. Some have dog parks so that beloved pets have a place for themselves. Mr. Bergman said Heidi, his 12-year-old miniature wire-haired dachshund, is “very happy” with her living situation at the Vi.

“They’re residents of ours as well,” said Phill Barklow, Vivante’s vice president of operations, of the pets. “They’re family members. To say…you can’t have your family member with you, that’s not fair.”

Residents eat well, with some staff chefs on call to whip up anything at most any hour. Menu items at the Atria’s West 86 community on Manhattan’s Upper West Side include a Belgian endive salad with micro greens and teardrop tomatoes, and sesame-seared tuna with baby bok choy. Chefs also offer the classics: steak, chicken and salmon….

View the WSJ article and slideshow of luxury retirement communities. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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