Inside the Innovative First Development from Belmont Village, Baptist Health

A new project from Belmont Village and Baptist Health South Florida is set to blend health care and hospitality for older adults in the Sunshine State. And, it could be the first concrete step in a fruitful partnership between the two organizations.

The Houston-based senior living company and the Florida-based non-profit health care system are collaborating on Belmont Village Coral Gables, a mixed-use senior living community set to open in downtown Coral Gables, Florida. As planned, the 10-story community will have 232 private apartments for independent living, assisted living and memory care residents, and more than 18,300 square feet of ground-floor retail and commercial space.

Planned amenities include multiple dining venues, transportation, a sports lounge, theater, arts parlor, library, beauty salon, screening room, music room, a three-story podium garage, courtyard and a landscaped pedestrian pathway. Belmont Village plans to offer rates starting at around $6,000 for independent living residents. Corwil Architects is the community’s designer, and Moss Construction Management is slated to break ground on the project early next year.

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The project is the first between Belmont Village and Baptist Health, and part of a larger venture between the senior living company and nonprofit. Baptist Health is working with Belmont both as a strategic partner and a capital partner, according to Belmont Village CEO Patricia Will.

“We are working on other opportunities, but none that are ready for primetime yet,” Will told Senior Housing News.

One of the Coral Gables community’s more unique features is its “Healthy Living Center,” a ground-floor hub for wellness where Baptist Health will provide wellness services for residents of the building and the larger Coral Gables area. There, the focus will be on health care programs that promote wellness, such as through physical therapy and exercise along with preventative care and proper nutrition, Will said. Belmont Village is also working with Baptist Health on programming and other innovations such as telemedicine.

While Will anticipates that Covid-19 will have subsided or become more manageable by the time the community opens in 2022, Belmont Village has leveraged its common areas in a different way to better fit the new pandemic age, she said.

“This building has one of the most exquisite and generous common areas of any that we’ve ever made,” Will added. “Outdoor spaces that we’ve been able to use, for example, to reintroduce family visitors carefully are part of the design and architecture here.”

Belmont Village is also using what it’s learned dealing with Covid-19 in its 31 other properties spread across seven U.S. states and in Mexico City.

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“We have a good laboratory through this pandemic of what’s easier and what’s harder and what works better and why,” Will said. “I think critical to good design [in] infection control is making sure that you’ve got common areas adequate to the task to be able to keep people further apart.”

Baptist Health has a reputation as a top health care institution in South Florida. The company purchased the 2.8-acre piece of land in Coral Gables for $37 million in 2019, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Half of that land is currently being purchased by a luxury condominium developer.

The region is underserved for senior living, with a large number of homeowners over 65 years of age, Will said.

“Those are all things that speak to whether or not we can create a region here that’s comparable to the seven communities we have in Greater Los Angeles,” Will said. “We created that region over a period of 20 years … but we see an opportunity that’s comparable here.”

Belmont Village Coral Gables is not the only senior living highrise project Belmont is working on at the moment. The company is teaming up with residential real estate giant Greystar to develop a 17-story senior living highrise in San Diego, in a project that is also a first for those companies together. Belmont Village is also getting ready to open a senior living highrise in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this summer.

On the whole, Belmont Village has made a name for itself building senior living communities with intergenerational and other forward-thinking components, facilitated by partnerships with universities, health care providers and other mixed-use developers. And that will continue into the future, driven in part due to the partnerships it has with organizations like Baptist Health.

“We are going to innovate at Belmont Village as a result of this in ways that we could never have imagined,” Will said.

Companies featured in this article:

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