Senior Housing Projects Booming in Ohio County

A proliferation of senior housing projects are springing up in one Ohio county whose 60-plus demographic is on track to comprise 31% of the population by 2030, reports Cleveland.com

By 2010, Cuyahoga County’s senior population, at 20%, was already above the national average of around 13%, according to Census Bureau data. 

“This is actually one of the fastest growing populations that we’re seeing,” said Tracey Mason, administrator of the county’s Division of Senior and Adult Services, in the article.

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That’s why several developers are targeting different areas within the county for new senior housing units, ranging from and $8 million independent living apartment project to an $11 million addition to an existing assisted living community.

Active developers include JEA Senior Living, Inc., which is planning a $9 million, 46-unit memory care community, according to Cleveland.com, and Hamilton Health Care, LLC, planning a $9 million nursing home.

Still another developer, Lemmon and Lemmon Inc., has plans for a 90,000-square-foot independent living, assisted living, and memory care community in the county, in addition to other projects planned in Wooster and Columbus, Ohio. 

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“Lemmon said the need for senior living facilities has increased nationally during the last several years as people live longer and the baby boomers reach retirement,” says the article. “He said the upswing in new projects represents a ‘catch up’ of sorts from the lull experienced during the recession, and he expects this trend to continue over the next decade.”

The new projects could spell bad new for existing product—especially the aging nursing home stock. 

While Ohio’s Department of Development and Department of Aging don’t actively track the number of existing and planned nursing homes across the state, according to Cleveland.com, an aging-related service, research, and policy firm says Northeast Ohio is already “overbedded.” 

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That has more to do with the state’s existing nursing homes than it does with new senior living communities, says Richard Browdie, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Benjamin Rose Institute. 

“An older nursing home is harder to fill,” he said in the article. “Even though there are going to be lots and lots more people who are older, the question is what proportion of them are going to want to live in a place other than where they currently live? Is there enough demand for new product to replace the existing (facilities)? Or are you going have new projects absorbing, in effect, a good portion of the market of the older products, and having the older products emptying out?”

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Written by Alyssa Gerace

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