The name Avidor, translated from Hebrew, means “father of a multitude.”
While there are not yet a multitude of communities, Avidor Living, the new active adult brand that Allegro Senior Living launched last year, is quickly growing in scale, with three communities in operation and two more under development, Allegro Vice President of Operations Jamie Lemon told Senior Housing News. Avidor has open communities in Evanston and Glenview — both in Illinois, near Chicago — as well as in Edina, Minnesota. Properties under development are located in Minnetonka, Minnesota and Omaha, Nebraska, and are expected to open in the fall.
The communities are designed with a maintenance-free, lock-and-leave lifestyle in mind. And the buildings are designed around the active senior lifestyle and the residents guide much of the programs and amenities offered, High Street Residential Senior Associate Mary Boehmler told SHN.
High Street Residential, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dallas-based real estate developer and service provider Trammell Crow, is the development partner in Avidor. St. Louis-based Allegro Senior Living operates independent living, assisted living and memory care, in addition to memory care, and has a total portfolio of 19 communities in operation or under development in six states
Attractive demographic trends
High Street, which usually develops traditional multifamily real estate, was interested in capitalizing on the future demand for senior living from baby boomers, as well as the growing active adult cohort, but realized that it needed a solid operating partner to manage any communities in which it had an interest.
High Street was introduced to Allegro through a mutual equity partner in Avidor, Boehmler told SHN.
“Allegro has a great reputation in the senior living space, and what we recognized is that it took a special operator that knew this age cohort, that would effectively manage that demographic, versus a traditional market rate apartment operator,” she said.
The average age among Avidor’s residents is in the low 70s.
Communication has been key to the evolution of the relationship between Allegro and High Street, Lemon told SHN. He and Boehmler have worked together on Avidor since its inception, collaborating on everything from setting rates, building construction and design, and marketing and sales strategies.
“That’s what we and they are looking for [in] a partner,” he said.
With Avidor, Allegro joins a growing pool of senior living providers wading into the active adult space — a product type which has been growing steadily in recent years and attracted interest from developers, investors and operators inside and outside the industry, as active adult communities are seen as stable investments. The typical active adult resident is between 72 and 77 years old, and stays at a community for an average of eight years. Moreover, rents can run as much as 50% higher than in a traditional apartment building, and lean staffing models help keep margins in check.
A survey conducted by SHN last year revealed that 87% of respondents were pursuing active adult rental projects.
Future forward designs, amenities
Avidor shares synergies with traditional multifamily communities. The buildings typically house between 150 to 200 apartments in one- and two-bedroom layouts, and are designed to complement an active, modern lifestyle that promotes independence, interaction and socializing with peers.
Continental breakfasts and concierges are common features, along with on-site “resident experience directors” who coordinate wellness activities, field trips and cultural programming. Amenities can include a pool and spa, private dining and liquor lockers, gourmet grilling stations, rooftop decks with fireplaces, fitness centers and wellness rooms, and yoga gardens.
The resident experience directors coordinate activities and group functions within the buildings, as well as field trips to local museums and cultural institutions, theater productions and restaurants, and local points of interest. In-house activities can include wine tastings, pool events, outdoor barbecues and live entertainment, and meal delivery programs and cooking classes curated by local chefs in demonstration kitchens.
Allegro pivoted many of these activities online during the early weeks of the pandemic. As local markets enter phased reopenings, Avidor is implementing “controlled” events held under local and state social distancing and public health guidelines. Face masks are required in all common areas, and groups are limited to small sizes based on local public health department guidance. Allegro increased the frequency of cleaning all common areas, including elevators. Staff are required to undergo mandatory coronavirus testing every 14 days.
Even with these protocols in place, residents are embracing the smaller events after weeks of quarantine.
“Everyone is participating and having a good time. They want to get out [from their apartments],” Lemon said.
As residents age, Avidor communities will be able to add features that will help them maintain their independence. Buildings are designed with the ability to outfit commercial kitchens, should residents need meals delivered in-house in the future. Services such as meal delivery, transportation, dry cleaning, pet sitting and walking services are offered on an a la carte basis, Boehmler said.
Focus on stabilizing census
The Avidor brand is showing signs of operational resilience from Covid-19 pressures affecting the senior living industry, at large. Avidor’s first community in Edina, Minnesota — which opened in June 2019 — reported over 90% of its first move-ins have renewed their leases. Deposits and move-ins across the portfolio, meanwhile, returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“August will be our biggest move-in month that we’ve ever had at Avidor,” Lemon said.
Active adult communities, with their younger censuses and less needs-based service models, have proven to be resilient as the pandemic continues. Avenida Partners, one of the most sucessful developers in the active adult space, recorded solid rent collections during Covid-19. Additionally, 75% of Avenida communities have written new leases each month, and move-ins have happened every month, with precautions in place.
Allegro and High Street have no concrete plans to grow the brand beyond completing the two communities under construction. The immediate goal is to stabilize occupancy at Avidor Glenview, which opened in December 2019, and Avidor Evanston, which opened in June.
Furthermore, Trammell Crow’s regional offices operate independently of each other. Its Chicago office, for example, covers the entire Midwest. Should High Street and Allegro break ground on new Avidor communities, they will almost certainly be in Midwestern markets with high barriers to entry and favorable demographic trends.
Lemon allowed that Trammell Crow business units across the country are looking at active adult opportunities in their regions
“At this point with Avidor, we want to make sure that [the communities are] successful,” she said.