Inside the Plans for New Senior Living Brand Ativo

Senior housing developer Link Senior Development is launching its own in-house brand, with a development pipeline that includes seven sites in four states. And the Portland, Oregon-based firm tapped a company that specializes in managing new senior housing developments to operate the brand.

Ativo Senior Living will be operated by Insight Senior Living, Link President, CEO and founder Ron Ziebart told Senior Housing News. Construction is already underway on the brand’s first community in Yuma, Arizona and first move-ins are expected in early 2021. The planned community consists of 55 assisted living units and 24 memory care units. Further Ativo communities are planned for Prescott Valley, Arizona; Buckeye, Arizona; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Link is also working on entitling three sites in southern California.

Based in West Linn, Oregon, Insight Senior Living provides management and consulting services for developers building new communities including marketing plans, coordinating vendor relationships, training and hiring protocols, and hiring initial on-site teams. The firm also advises owners on stabilizing underperforming properties and transitioning operators in communities. Among its other projects is a Montessori-based memory care community.


Insight President and CEO LisaAnn Shelton has a long-standing professional relationship with Ziebart. A few years ago, Shelton proposed working together with him in the near future, she told SHN.

But Ziebart was focused on establishing and stabilizing Link Senior Development, which provides development and investment services for its internal group as well as partnering with other Seniors Housing owner/ operators.

About a year ago, Link disposed of six communities and decided to redeploy the proceeds toward expanding its workforce and to launch Ativo, Ziebart told SHN. So he reached out to Insight.


“He said, ‘I’m ready. Let’s do something together,’” Shelton said.

Ativo Senior Living will initially focus on the southwestern United States and include a mix of independent living, assisted living and memory care. The Yuma development is the smallest of the projects under development. Ativo’s sweet spot is between 150 to 200 units, primarily private pay with a mix of wellness and upscale amenities, at reasonable rates.

“It’s being driven by the fluency of the markets we’re embedded in.  If we were to put things on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the high end). In the past, we have avoided building the 10’s and we also have also avoided building the fives,” Ziebart said. “We’ve done very well in the past in tertiary markets. And we built sevens and eights all day long.”

Shelton believes that Insight’s consulting experience will position Ativo for quick growth and innovation.

“One of the things that we’ve always done is, we go into communities and learn as much as we can about that local community — why are they there, what interests them, what’s significant about the local area — so that we can reflect those interests and desires in the programming,” she said.

Ativo’s social programming will be a mix of intergenerational concepts, and are looking at incorporating new technology as well as being sensitive to the wants, needs, and desires of tomorrows seniors through innovative building design. 

“We are trying to build programming and encouragement is through families and grandchildren. We know our development teams very well, and work closely with them,” Shelton said.

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