It’s the perfect senior housing mix: a market ripe for development, an underserved population and a luxury product that will attract affluent clientele.
But can a development team largely new to the space get a chain of LGBT-focused luxury senior living communities off the ground?
Phillips Development Companies has partnered with Phil Quattrone and Judd Chapman, co-owners of gay men’s luxury resort Pineapple Point in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Integral Senior Living to launch a new product they’re envisioning will become a senior housing chain.
Pineapple House, a $58 million LGBT-focused rental community, is set to break ground in the first half of 2015 and open in mid-2016. The upscale Fort Lauderdale community will house 92 independent living apartments, 56 assisted living units and 30 rooms for special needs-assisted living and dementia care residents.
“There hasn’t been new housing that has come into the market in Fort Lauderdale in a long time. We see that there’s an opportunity for senior housing supply to come into the market because of this pent-up demand,” says Collette Valentine, CEO of Integral Senior Living, an established California-based operator that’s new to the LGBT space.
Though experienced in luxury resort operations, Quattrone and Chapman are new to senior housing. Their strategy? Translate the Pineapple Point service model into a retirement community fit for the population they know best: their current clients.
“We are going to build a Pineapple Point on steroids that’s for retirement,” Quattrone says. “Pineapple Point will always be here, but Pineapple House will be a residence for that senior when the time comes.”
Also new to senior housing is Phillips Development Companies of Palm Beach, which has done primarily commercial construction, including office and mixed-use buildings, retail and public projects, such as airports, universities and health care facilities.
But each member of the development team shares the same vision for Pineapple House:
“We foresee bringing this product nationwide, but the idea and the concept should always be the same: urban, state of the art and very, very high end,” Quattrone says.
‘No Question’ About LGBT Market Opportunity
While many LGBT senior housing developments that have popped up in recent years cater to lower-income aging Americans, Pineapple House targets a wealthier clientele.
“Our focus is really on the luxury market, not the affordable housing model,” says Jean McCoy Phillips, executive vice president of Phillips Development Companies. “[In luxury LGBT development], the affluence is there, no question. The segment that we want to capture is the higher quartile, because we think there’s an enormous population that can fill our communities.”
This population boasted $830 billion in disposable income in 2013, up from $790 billion in 2012, according to a report by LGBT newspaper Out Front.
In addition, the overall financial well-being of the LGBT community is strong, as these individuals have a higher median income than the general population at $61,500 compared to $50,000.
Among this LGBT population is a growing number of 65-plus Americans, who currently number between 1.75 million and 4 million, but whose number is expected to nearly double by 2030, according to the Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). Currently, those age 65-plus make up between 11% to 26% of the overall LGBT population.
“It’s important that people understand there is a group that is willing to pay for this high-end product and they want the very best and want to live in this kind of environment,” Quattrone says. “We see that and we hear that from our guests [at Pineapple Point].”
Monthly rent for independent living apartments at Pineapple House will start at $3,375, with assisted living units starting at $3,750. Special needs assisted living and dementia care will start at $4,595. Additionally, the community will offer penthouses, with monthly rent starting at $5,768.
C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group, the project’s architect, will design Pineapple House in the shape of an “H,” with the stem of the right side being mostly independent living, and the left-hand stem being assisted living and memory care. The spine of the H will contain some units, but will function primarily as a transition between the two wings.
The community will offer an entire floor of amenities, including a state-of-the-art spa, gym, several dining options, a business center, a complete bar and a theater.
While Pineapple House is LGBT-focused, it will also serve as a place for both gay and straight people.
“We want to be that all-inclusive model where [they] can live together in retirement,” Quattrone says.
And if this model works in Fort Lauderdale, the development team has its eye on expansion, looking at areas including Atlanta, Dallas, New York and Washington D.C.
“It’s a five- to 10-year plan. We’ve identified about a dozen cities where we’d like to open a Pineapple House,” says Phillips, “and we think we’ll receive the same kind of positive reception [in those cities].”
Written by Emily Study