Greenbrier Development, Hospital System Plan $200M Redevelopment of Former Hotel, Convention Center

Greenbrier Development is partnering with a hospital system and a commercial real estate company on a $200 million redevelopment project to turn a long-vacant hotel and convention center near Cincinnati into a senior living community.

Dallas-based Greenbrier is collaborating with Brandicorp LLC and hospital system St. Elizabeth Healthcare to convert the former Drawbridge Hotel and Convention Center into an 11-story, 262-unit continuing care retirement community (CCRC), according to an article published by the Cincinnati Business Courier. 

“We could not be more pleased to work with Greenbriar and choosing Ft. Mitchell for this new development,” an issued statement from St. Elizabeth Spokesperson Guy Karrick said. “We look forward to this partnership where we can help enhance the health and vitality of our communities.”


The community is coming together in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, which is a little more than six miles south of Cincinnati. The new project represents Greenbrier’s first ground-up development in the area. The hotel and convention center, also known as Drawbridge Inn, closed in late 2012.

As currently planned, the to-be-named project includes 196 independent living units, 24 memory care units, 24 skilled nursing units and 18 assisted living units. The project planners will set aside about a third of the site to build the senior housing development. If all goes according to plan, the project is expected to break ground in 2024 or early 2025, with a completion date in 2027.

The project partners plan to form a not-for-profit entity to own the community, with Buckner Retirement Services providing management services, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.


Brandicorp, which acquired the site in 2013, also plans to develop a number of surrounding properties with mixed uses, including restaurants, retail and multifamily housing; as well as amenities to serve the community.

Making the larger development “walkable” is also a goal of the planners, Brandicorp CEO Mike Brandy told the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Greenbrier is well-versed in undertaking senior living development projects.The company was among the project partners behind Ventana by Buckner, an award-winning senior living community in Dallas from Buckner Retirement Services. Greenbrier also is providing development and marketing support for The Kendal Company’s zen-inspired Enso Village community, which is coming together in Healdsburg, California.

In fact, it was the company’s work at Ventana in Dallas that led St. Elizabeth Healthcare to bring them in as a partner on the new CCRC, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier report.

While adaptive reuse projects have always had a place in the senior living industry, the Covid-pandemic has pushed more operators and developers to explore the conversion of former hotels into senior living communities.

One recent example of the trend at work is IntegraCare, which announced plans to convert a hotel in Solomons Island, Maryland into a new senior living community with independent, assisted and memory care.

IntegraCare often sees opportunities to redevelop former hotels into senior housing — “most of which we say ‘no’ to,” IntegraCare CEO Larry Rouvelas said on the Senior Housing News podcast Transform.

“The project economics, that’s where conversions can oftentimes really shine, because you’re taking a building that’s already there, and a lot of the costs are sunk costs,” Rouvelas said.

Companies featured in this article:

, , ,