10 Ideas Shaping the Future of Senior Living Development

Buildings designed to promote wellness, ambitious urban communities, clusters of small homes created with cutting-edge tech  — and even senior living at sea.

These are among the ideas shaping the future of senior living development, as revealed earlier this year at Senior Housing News’ inaugural BUILD event.

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, we’re taking stock of the first half of the year and trying to anticipate what the future holds. In that spirit, we’re sharing 10 top quotes from BUILD. Click on the links below if you’re curious to learn more about dynamic, creative new directions for senior living development.


“The largest growth opportunity in the field of senior housing is not high-end, highrise high-amenity, urban infill properties. It’s frickin’ America … where people want to live where they want and how they want, but don’t have the housing that makes it possible.” — Dr. Bill Thomas, Founder and CEO at Minka, Co-Founder ChangingAging.org, Founder and President of The Eden Alternative

“We believe there is a future consumer interested in a different product that is right around the corner.” — Gary Milner, Executive Vice President – Development, At Sea and Adult Living, Canyon Ranch

“The industry was invented on the paradigm of boring studios with not enough storage.” — Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village


“People will say, CEOs of public companies have said, we’re going to increase occupancy by closing the backdoor. Think about that. We’re going to lock them in?” — John Moore, CEO of Atria Senior Living

“We’re less about scaling up our core product than we are looking for ways to build something unique and win in the market.” — Adam Kaplan, Founder and CEO of Solera Senior Living

“The ideal for a smaller operator would be to purchase 10-12 cabins, which would have an influence on their land-based operations, as well as offer it as perks for their staff.” — Alister Punton, Co-CEO, Founder and Chairman of Storylines

“I do think those organizations that are very intentional about getting into the active adult space really are poised to be pioneers in this sector, and I think they’ll do well.” — Dana Wollschlager, Partner with Plante Moran Living Forward

“We’re fighting against the concept of what [a CCRC] was. We have to create a whole new model that takes a fresh approach, that gives people an opportunity to live a new life.” — Steve Lindsey, CEO of Garden Spot Village

“Most of the barriers to [university partnerships] are on the academic side. But if you pull this off, you’re the number one choice in the market for the next 50 years.” — Andrew Carle, senior living consultant and adjunct faculty at Georgetown University

“It’s about having the courage to say, ‘This is who we are. This is who we’re going to serve.’” — Niki Leondakis, President at the Wolff Resident Experience Company

Editor’s Note: If you’re involved in a project that is moving the needle on senior living development, submit it for consideration in the 2019 Senior Housing News Architecture & Design Awards.

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