Senior housing newcomer Avanti Senior Living entered the market last fall with the announcement it would be breaking ground on two new high-end properties in Texas: Avanti at Towne Lake-Cypress and Avanti at Vision Park in The Woodlands/Shenandoah, both just north of Houston.
As both developer and operator-to-be of the new communities, Avanti’s development team says it takes a somewhat unique approach to site selection in that it considers not only the real estate, but how the site is likely to perform from an operations standpoint—with consumers from the prospective resident to his or her adult child in mind.
In addition to the communities announced in the fourth quarter of 2013, Avanti announced this week it is moving forward on seven new sites in 2014 that the company intends will boost its presence nationwide.
We sat down with the company’s chief operating officer, Lori Juneau-Alford, to hear more about Avanti’s plans in the coming year.
Q. What additional markets is Avanti entering in 2014?
A The first will be built in Texas, at Flower Mound, a planned community founded in the 1970s as the nation’s second New Town.
Q. Do you have additional senior living and memory care communities on the drawing board for Texas right now?
A. Yes, moving south to San Antonio, Tex., we’re building Avanti at Stone Oak and Avanti at Alamo Heights. Architecture at these two senior living properties will complement the historic Spanish Colonial buildings so well identified with the city.
Q. We also hear that Avanti has three communities under way in Louisiana. What are your plans there?
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A. Yes, after much research into the demand for high-end senior living and memory care communities Avanti determined that there are three Louisiana locations that offer the demographic profiles we seek. The three sites include Baton Rouge, a city of more than 800,000 residents, as well as the state capitol, home of Louisiana State University, and a thriving center of commerce along the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana.
The second site is Covington/Mandeville on the north shore of famous Lake Pontchartrain at New Orleans, historically known for the summer homes of wealthy New Orleanians. Third is the lively southwestern city of Lafayette, now a major center for medical research and healthcare delivery.
Q. Are there other markets Avanti is considering?
A. Yes, we’ve found Wellington, Fla., 20 minutes west of Palm Beach, to be a perfect Avanti location. Known as the international center for equestrian sports, Wellington is a wealthy cross-section of international society, celebrities and business icons.
Q. Why did Avanti choose these particular locations for its 2014 development schedule?
A. Avanti CEO Tim Hekker, who has a background in developing successful senior housing companies, is bullish on finding the right market for our luxury communities. He looks for markets with strong demographic foundations—a thriving economy, a desirable and affluent community, a strong educational system, and a strategic geographical location. Our goal in each of these locations is to create a superior senior living experience that complements the feel of each market.
Q. Have you secured financing for the 2014 development?
A Yes, we have a silent equity partner we are teaming up with on all of our new developments.
Q. On average, what is the size of a typical Avanti’s luxury community and what kinds of amenities do you offer?
A. Our communities range from 90 to 150 units specifically designed for assisted living and memory care residents. Our design concept blends warm, modern interiors with the conveniences of apartment living. From large suites to two-bedroom units, Avanti offers a full spectrum of amenities including medical and wellness services, full-service spa and salon, and luxury dining experiences.
Q What are two of the most significant differences found in Avanti residences?
A. The resident experience and state-of-the-art technology. We recognize that there are many great senior living providers out there. Our philosophy is to truly customize our services to each resident’s needs and wants.
Empowering our team members to consistently make this happen is the key to achieving high satisfaction among our residents. There is no request too large nor too small to accomplish for our residents and their families.
Avanti Senior Living brings advanced technologies to each of our communities—both for the comfort and entertainment of residents as well as to ensure a safe, protected living environment.
For example, our residents will enjoy wi-fi capabilities and “smart” televisions. Other technologies go well beyond the use of electronic medical records, EMAR medication management systems and telehealth capabilities. Going this extra mile sets Avanti apart from most senior living environments and fulfills the luxury living desires of affluent senior residents.