Multifamily housing company Alliance Residential Company is just months away from opening the inaugural community in the more than $1 billion senior living pipeline announced four years ago.
The Phoenix-based company will welcome residents at its first community in Tukwila, Washington, this December. The 166-unit active adult community is called Marvelle at Southcenter, and Alliance will manage it.
Another independent living, assisted living and memory care community is scheduled to come online in San Jose, California, next year. Louisville-based Atria Senior Living will manage the 200-unit community, which is called Atria Almaden.
“Alliance Residential are respected builders and their commitment to high-quality senior housing aligns with our vision,” said Ryan Sprau, senior vice president of owner relations and asset management at Atria. “We’re proud to partner with them now and in the future.”
Atria isn’t the only provider Alliance is working with. The company will also tap Atlanta-based The Arbor Company to manage a Delray Beach, Florida, senior living community that is scheduled to open in 2021. Additionally, discussions are underway to bring other senior living providers into the fold, according to Dale Boyles, managing director of senior housing for Alliance.
The company’s overall development pipeline is made up of more than 2,500 independent living, assisted living, memory care and active adult units spread across 16 communities in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Florida. Two of those communities are active adult projects, with the rest being traditional senior living.
The communities range from two-story suburban layouts to urban high-rises. A total of six Alliance communities will be under construction by the year’s end.
All told, the pipeline represents $1.2 billion worth of senior housing investments, Boyles told SHN. Capital partners have so far included USAA, The Carlyle Group and PGIM.
“We’ve achieved the ambitious statement we made in 2015,” Boyles said. “It was methodical, but we would rather do it right than try to rush to market. That’s a hallmark of how Alliance approaches our business.”
While this is Alliance’s first foray in senior housing, the company is no stranger to ground-up development. The national multifamily acquisitions, construction and management company has invested in more than $10 billion worth of real estate and currently manages a $15 billion portfolio.
The company was the fourth-largest apartment manager in the U.S. last year, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.
One way Alliance hopes to stand out from its new competitors is by bringing a multifamily mindset to its senior living operations.
“We believe there is a huge opportunity to bring the multifamily thinking and development thinking into senior housing,” Boyles said.
That specifically means taking stock of the amenities and design elements that work well at Alliance’s multifamily properties and adapting them for older adults, according to Marco Vakili, managing director of senior housing.
“Alliance’s advantage is, we build a lot of residential units in multifamily each year, and through that, we test a lot of ideas,” Vakili told SHN. “The job that Dale and I have is to review those ideas, figure out how we tweak them and make them work in senior living.”
For example, the company is building high-tech fitness rooms where independent living residents can participate in an exercise class via a large screen mounted on a wall. Residents can sign in on a touchpad and begin their workout without ever needing an instructor present.
“It empowers the resident to go and exercise when they want,” Vakili said. “That’s worked really well in our multifamily developments.”
Another amenity making the jump from multifamily to senior living :golf simulators. These let residents practice their swing in front of a simulated golf scene. Atria Almaden in San Jose will be the first Alliance senior housing community to come equipped with one.
“It’s not a Wii golf simulator, its a real one,” Vakili added.
Alliance also brings some of its multifamily design concepts to its senior housing portfolio. Each community is modeled like a boutique hotel, with amenities and floorplans informed by the local market.
“We get a lot of exposure to designing units, from the latest materials that are getting used in units to the latest technology and equipment,” Vakili said. “And we want to make communities feel custom and unique.”
In terms of pricing, Alliance’s communities will likely fall on the high-end side. But the developer wants its communities to remain competitive and will price accordingly.
With construction starts appearing to slow down in some markets and banks tightening up their lending, now is the right time for the communities Alliance is building, and the company is taking advantage of that fact, Boyles said.
“We have extensive boots on the ground in our production offices,” he added. “These talented men and women are looking for opportunities all day, every day.”