An Evangelical church in Canada is planning to break ground this August on a towering “life lease” community for older adults.
The $140 million project from Toronto-based Global Kingdom Ministries—Trinity Ravine Towers—is yet another example of the strong demand for high-rise senior living communities in the U.S. and Canada. Similar projects are going up in and around cities such as New York City; Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Tempe, Arizona.
If Trinity Ravine Towers proves to be a hit, other such communities could pop up throughout Canada. Global Kingdom Ministries Pastor and CEO Kern Kalideen, through his company KJK Ventures, is currently working on similar development projects with four other churches in Ontario. Kalideen founded KJK Ventures in 2014 to help charitable organizations develop land they own.
“A lot of churches have extremely valuable properties, and now the congregations are aging,” Kalideen told Senior Housing News. “I think it’s well within their mandates to do these kind of projects, because it’s very community-oriented.”
Senior living in the sky
As outlined, Trinity Ravine Towers will span two 27- and 29-story towers on land owned by the church. The buildings will have a combined total of 560 units, with planned amenities including underground parking, a wellness and fitness center, a 230-seat dining room with a commercial kitchen, a library, a workshop, a movie lounge, a coffee bar and a rooftop terrace. Many of the spaces can be expanded over time, and all are designed with aging adults in mind.
Though the community will initially offer to its residents independent living and some assisted living services when it opens in 2020, the church set aside space that can be used for memory care, long-term care and more clinical assisted living components in the future.
Development is paid for in part through a Global Kingdom Ministries investment, construction financing and additional money from unit sales. This is the church’s first senior-oriented construction project in its 63-year existence, according to Kalideen.
“In Toronto, land is becoming very expensive.” Kalideen said. “The only way we could get the density we need… was by going up.”
Instead of partnering with another developer and building condos or apartments on the site, the church decided to develop the land to help its congregation and the surrounding community, reported real estate news website Toronto Storeys.
“We are facing a tsunami of needs in the aging population,” Kalideen said. “We wanted to become part of the care industry because we’ve been caring for our community for a very long time.”
A lease for life
The forthcoming community will operate under a “life lease” concept, in which residents pay market value for the right to indefinitely live in a suite and use the property’s common areas. Life leases at Trinity Ravine Towers start at around $270,000, which isn’t far off from what a condo might cost in the Toronto market.
“In this situation, people have a right to live in their suite forever. Eventually, the suites can be put on mortgage,” Kalideen said.
Because residents own their suites, there is no associated rental fee—though they must make regular maintenance payments for upkeep, he said. Life lessees must be 55 years of age or older, but their younger family members may live with them, too.
The community is marketed toward active adults, but Global Kingdom Ministries is also partnering with Christie Gardens—a faith-based senior living operator in Toronto—to offer some senior living services. Those services aren’t yet set in stone, but could range from around $1,600 per month for the most basic package to $4,000 per month for residents who have more clinical needs.
“We are giving people that option of picking and choosing,” Kalideen said. “As we age, it would become less optional and more mandatory [for many residents].”
The project’s first development phase is sold out, while its second is slightly more than half full.
Written by Tim Regan