While senior living developers have primarily focused their efforts towards assisted living and memory care lately, one provider is bucking the trend with plans to expand its independent living segment with $140 million of luxury developments.
Pacific Retirement Services, Inc. (PRS), a non-profit developer and provider of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) headquartered in Medford, Oregon, sees a “low-risk” and cost-efficient strategy in expanding several of its existing campuses on the West Coast and Texas, says Paul Riepma, senior vice president of sales and marketing at PRS.
The approximately $140 million that PRS plans to invest applies to four expansion projects the company wants to take on in Oregon, California and Texas.
“The central theme is taking land that we already own and growing our independent living towns, while also providing new resident amenities,” says Riepma.
The company is spending an estimated $15.1 million toward the development of a new, six-story building at one of its CCRCs in Portland, OR. The 45,000-square-foot independent living building is on track for completion by September.
By September, the company expects to finish a $15.1 million addition to one of its CCRCs located in Portland, OR: a six-story, 45,000-square-foot development that will add 19 apartments, a lobby and additional parking.
In Eugene, Oregon, PRS has entered into a development contract with Cascade Manor, a CCRC and PRS affiliate, to develop a new $17.2 million residential building called 29th Place. Encompassing 82,000-square-feet, the building grows PRS’s independent living count with 30 new apartments, as well as a new bistro-style dining venue. The company expects construction to begin this Summer.
Further down the coast, PRS is currently in the planning stages of developing a 95,000-square-foot expansion of The Meadows of Napa Valley, a CCRC in Napa, CA. The project, which has development costs estimated at $35.5 million, will produce 53 new independent living apartments, along with an aquatic and wellness center that will include a new indoor pool and physical therapy area.
For the the company’s fourth expansion project, PRS set its sights down south to Fort Worth, Texas, where it plans to begin construction this summer on a 23-story tower with Trinity Terrace, another CCRC and PRS affiliate.
Dubbed River Tower, the 325,000-square-foot development is a “trophy-type” project that Riepma says will contain some of the largest CCRC community apartments in the country. With project costs running at $73.25 million, the glass apartment structure will feature what Riepma calls 79 “spacious, Texas-sized apartments” of up to 3,300-square-feet.
The project is modeled after another PRS development called Mirabella Tower, a 30-story high-rise CCRC in Portland’s South Waterfront District that has maintained 100% independent living occupancy. More than 350 families have paid over $1,000 to be on the urban CCRC’s waiting list, Riepma says—a success the company hopes to mirror.
“Ultimately, as we grow our independent living counts, it helps the overall financial performance of the community and also helps give all residents better financial foundations,” Riepma says. “The proof is always in the pudding.”
More on-campus development also translates into newer, additional amenities residents can take advantage of, Riepma added—a strategy CCRC providers suggest can help residents accept rent hikes to fund the construction.
“Residents support these kinds of endeavors rather than throwing up roadblocks,” says Riepma. “They all know the payoff is a new amenity coming.”
The industry may soon be headed for what Riepma calls a “catch-up” phase, where providers will be forced to accommodate the changing demands of not only their current residents, but the growing senior demographic that is now able to sell their homes and make the move into CCRCs, among other senior living settings, as the economy improves.
“That day is coming,” he says. “We’re excited about it, but we’re not quite there yet.”
Written by Jason Oliva