Leaders with Cantina Communities have changed the company’s name to Kindred Uncommon.
Austin, Texas-based Cantina – now called Kindred Uncommon – plans to build active adult communities it will operate, with its first planned community breaking ground in Buda, Texas, later this year and opening in 2023.
The company will attempt modular construction techniques to build the community – provided the financial math works out – with plans to use conventional techniques as a backup option.
The recent rebranding is aimed at better appealing to the baby boomers as the company charts its future growth, according to Kindred Uncommon Co-Founder and Managing Partner Zachary Hollander.
“I know some change names or create brands when there’s a new investor. That’s not the case here,” Hollander told Senior Housing News. “It’s purely understanding our customer better.”
The company also has financial backing for two other projects: one in East Austin, a neighborhood outside of Austin, Texas; and another tentatively planned for a market in central Texas.
Chicago-based Mansueto Office is the company’s primary financial backer.
Rebrand timed for growth
The firm arrived at the decision to change the name after reaching out to prospective customers, Hollander explained.
During the pandemic, Kindred conducted more than a dozen qualitative interviews with baby boomers, who reviewed a 35-page packet with designs for the communities.
What Kindred Uncommon’s leaders learned from the interviews is that boomers reacted differently to the new name than to the former brand.
“There is a different customer out there for whom Cantina might sound a little bit more like the aspirational idea of retiring into a life of leisure and relaxation – a customer that loves, say Margaritaville,” Hollander told Senior Housing News. “We wanted a name that reflected that [prospective] customer being purpose-driven and modern, kind of soulful and forward-thinking.”
Kindred Uncommon’s model also got a boost this year and late last year from recent coverage in media outlets such as The New York Times and New York Magazine.
“People from … maybe a dozen states have approached us asking to come to their market,” Co-Founder and Managing Partner A.J. Viola told SHN.
The company timed the rebrand to coincide with pre-construction for its new community in Buda, which is planned to carry monthly rates for residents somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 per unit, according to Viola.
Kindred Uncommon is currently awaiting final approval from local officials to begin construction, Co-Founder and Managing Partner A.J. Viola told SHN.
“We’re currently going through the process of working with a number of general contractors to sort out the construction – both timing and bids,” he said.
Getting approval from the city has been a challenge for the company, due to both the pandemic and the lack of understanding surrounding modular construction.
“From the city’s point of view, I think they were skeptical and nervous because they didn’t understand it,” said Viola.
Another challenge has been the cost and availability of construction labor.
The project team’s goal is to open the community’s doors in the second quarter of 2023.
Kindred Uncommon also sees other opportunities in similar markets outside of the Austin area, such as Nashville, Denver, and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.
“People in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s are looking at cities like Austin,” said Hollander. “But their parents are, too. They want to be near [their children and grandchildren].”
Demand for senior living services is growing in Austin, and Hollander expects that will be true in other markets the company expands to. The company is also evaluating smaller secondary and tertiary markets for growth.
“There is a lot of data around markets like Nashville and The Triangle,” he said. “But for those smaller markets, we have to make sure there is demand for a rental product.”
The Kindred Uncommon project “went through the wringer” and encountered some delays during the approval process, Hollander said.
“But we emerged from that with a unanimous approval for the project,” he added.
And those project hurdles taught Kindred’s leaders how to communicate more effectively about their other upcoming projects, Hollander said.
Kindred’s model is predicated on bringing together like-minded groups of people, and to that end, the company will initially seek to make inroads with affinity groups such as LGBTQ older adults. The company is also planning to execute a larger marketing push later this year as construction kicks off.
“[We are looking to] find those little pockets of people who are purpose-driven and values-aligned,” Hollander said.