The fastest-growing U.S. metro is already a haven for the nation’s aging population. And it’s about to get even bigger.
Florida is often considered a retirement destination for snowbirds and seniors looking to live in a mild climate. Although The Sunshine State didn’t make the top-10—or even top-20—states to retire this year, it is home to a sprawling retirement community that is its own census-designated place (CDP): The Villages.
With more than 105,000 residents, The Villages is the largest retirement community in the U.S. Last month, it joined with San Antonio, Texas-based Titan Senior Living and KR Management, a firm headquartered in Indian Shores, Fla., on plans to develop a series of senior living communities strategically located to serve The Villages master development.
“Just as The Villages Health is offering primary care at centers strategically placed in locations throughout the community, we’re working with KR and Titan to cover all the needs Villagers will have in the future for senior living,” said The Villages President Mark Morse in a written statement.
Currently, there are 1,107 beds of independent living, assisted living, memory care and specialized nursing care serving The Villages, with an additional 1,900 beds under construction or in pre-development by The Villages team.
In total, The Villages in partnership with Titan and KR plans to provide residents with approximately 3,000 senior care beds at build-out.
Titan and KR are among the most recent senior living providers targeting The Villages for their development plans. Last month, Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) opened a $26 million assisted living and memory care facility, Brookdale Place at Freedom Pointe, which complements the company’s existing independent living community on campus, Freedom Pointe at The Villages.
Unlike all other facilities in The Villages’ surrounding markets, all of the Titan and KR projects will be within The Villages master development and will be golf cart accessible—a signature lifestyle feature at the community.
“We’re dedicated to making sure our community’s master plan has all the senior living services our residents will need,” said Morse. “Together with KR and Titan, we’ve pulled together the right team to make sure our residents can remain part of The Villages with everything they need just a short golf cart ride away.”
Senior Living Boom Town
Between July 2013 and July 2014, The Villages, a Central Florida CDP located west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4% to reach a population of about 114,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. In comparison, the second-fastest-growing metro, Myrtle Beach, S.C., grew by 3.2%.
In total, six metro areas in Florida were among the 20 fastest-growing in the nation between 2013 and 2014. In addition to The Villages, others included Cape Coral-Fort Myers (sixth), Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island (10th), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (16th), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (18th) and Panama City (19th).
Conceived over 50 years ago, The Villages has become an active retirement community of behemoth proportions.
The community’s total area of 5.6 square miles is home to an assortment of expansive golf courses in addition to a plethora of activity centers, restaurants, parks, dog parks, fitness trails, shopping, dining, movie theaters and various houses of worship. The Villages also has a Lifelong Learning College, which provides year-round personal enrichment courses and opportunities for residents.
Apart from the campus’ senior housing options, The Villages offers both newly constructed homes and pre-owned homes, including patio villas, courtyard villas, cottage homes, designer and premier homes.
KR already operates three facilities in The Villages community, including Sumter Place, which offers assisted living and memory care, while nearby Sumter Grand provides independent living.
More recently, the company opened its Buffalo Crossings Assisted Living facility this past May, the first component of a continuing care campus that will later be home to a new KR-owned and operated skilled nursing center offering both short- and long-term care.
Titan began its foray into The Villages earlier this year with an 86-unit infill assisted living and memory care development. A second Titan community is scheduled to begin construction later this year consisting of an additional 240 residents comprising independent, assisted living and memory care.
Written by Jason Oliva