Editor’s Note: Interested in the active adult market? Check out SHN’s Active Adult Virtual Summit, taking place July 15-17. Click here to learn more and register.
A senior housing company and player in the multifamily space has set its sights on becoming the premiere boutique developer and operator of active adult communities in the United States.
Through an associate company, Tiburon, California-based Drever Capital Management is moving ahead with a development and construction pipeline of three active adult communities in Texas totaling between $130 million and $150 million in asset value. The company also has a fourth project in pre-development in Georgia. And that is just the start of what Drever hopes to achieve in the space.
Not including its active adult holdings, the company currently has nine senior living communities ranging from independent living to assisted living and memory care. Drever Capital manages its own independent living communities, while the company uses a third-party manager for the higher-acuity communities. On the multifamily side, Drever Capital has acquired or developed 47,000 workforce housing units since 1968.
All of the company’s active adult development will fall under the banner of the Imprint Property Group, a new company owned and managed by Noah Drever, who works as managing partner and COO of Drever Capital Management, and is also the son of the company’s chairman, Maxwell Drever. The company’s in-house management and construction arms — Drever Management company and Drever Construction — are currently being transitioned to Imprint.
“Where we really want to make a difference is by providing luxurious apartments at a relatively affordable price point compared to independent living, assisted living, memory care and possibly CCRCs,” Drever told Senior Housing News. “Active adult was really attractive to us because it has more of a density that resembles multifamily, but you can get more creative on the activity space.”
The company’s first active adult project, Larkspur at Twin Creeks, is a 243-unit community that opened in Allen, Texas, in 2018. That property just hit 90% occupancy, and saw a record-high 27 new leases in June. Resident rates range from roughly $1,700 to about $3,000, depending on unit size.
Another active adult community, Larkspur at Shadow Creek in Pearland, Texas, is on track to get its certificate of occupancy in October. And another Texas project is due to break ground in September.
At the core of these communities’ value proposition to residents is programming, which focuses on health and wellness. Drever’s active adult communities have about 18,000 square feet set aside for amenities such as high-end salons and spas, swimming pools, fitness centers, movie theaters and arts and crafts. In its Larkspur community in Allen, for example, residents can participate in multiple daily Zumba, yoga and Drumba classes. Or, they can take part in happy hours and line dancing.
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In addition to one- and two-bedroom layouts, Drever also likes to include in its designs some cottage units to entice current homeowners.
“If you’re downsizing from a 3,000-, 4,000- or 5,000-square-foot house in Texas, sometimes visualizing yourself in a single building design is difficult,” Drever said. “It just adds that stepping stone to get people comfortable, and to be part of the community but still have the feel of homeownership.”
Drever Capital is family-run, allowing management to more closely fine-tune the activities and services in its communities — and its resident profile. That is especially important in light of the fact that residents are today moving into senior housing communities at an older age and with more needs than in the past.
“If you offer more exercise classes, more group fitness classes, more water aerobics classes, pickleball, et cetera, you attract a [lower acuity resident],” Drever said. “Whereas some of the other groups focus more on the independent living side, and they might get a resident that needs more oversight, assistance and care.”
And having a more tight-knit ownership model also makes the company more nimble in offering its programming compared with some of its more corporate peers, he added.
“We provide more of a high-touch feel that you would find in independent living,” Drever said. “Not all the active adult operators, especially the third-party operators, are able to provide that because they just don’t have any ownership in the deal.”
Focusing on active adult communities under the Imprint moniker represents a shift for Drever Capital, which in 2010 got into the senior housing space with the purchase of an underperforming independent living community. With the help of a third-party manager, Drever increased the community’s occupancy from below 50% to above 90%.
“If you ever want to learn an industry, you buy something that’s broken and you try to fix it, and that’s what we did in 2010,” Drever said.
But in learning more about the industry, Drever also realized that the company’s future in senior housing was not in traditional IL-AL-memory care, but in lower-acuity active adult settings. In fact, the company will likely sell its higher-acuity, non-independent living properties in the future in order to focus solely on active adult, he explained.
Looking ahead, Drever plans to move forward with the active adult pipeline under the new Imprint name, taking into account possible disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic. And while the company believes that managing an active adult portfolio is complicated and even sometimes daunting, it has also done its homework.
“People who want to make an easy dollar, this is not the space for them to be in,” Drever said. “There will be … less operators that are truly specialized in this asset class, that have the stomach for it. But those people will be successful.”
Interested in learning more about the active adult market? Click here to register for next week’s SHN Active Adult Virtual Summit.