Thrive Senior Living Goes Big on Outdoor Space in ‘Most Unique’ Project to Date

Earlier this month, Thrive Senior Living opened the senior living operator’s 40th community since its inception — and its most unique.

The community, Thrive at Montvale, spans about 215,000 square feet and contains 203 rental units on a site in Montvale, New Jersey. While the community is arriving with a slate of luxury-focused amenities, its biggest draw lies in its connection to the outdoors, according to Thrive Senior Living Founder Jeramy Ragsdale.

“We’ve never built the same building twice, but I would say that Montvale is probably the most unique and largest departure from anything that we’ve ever done in the past,” Ragsdale told Senior Housing News. “The building is really designed around the resident experience — that’s the bottom line.”


With the opening, Atlanta-based Thrive now manages 13 communities.

The community’s completion also marks another first: it is the inaugural community in a burgeoning partnership between Thrive Senior Living and Pike Properties, with more collaborations expected in the Northeast.

Bringing in the outdoors

Central to the planning of Thrive at Montvale was a commitment to connecting residents to nature, a concept also known as biophilic design.


Underpinning those efforts is a social courtyard with space for outdoor dining and screening films in addition to a large fountain, fire pits, bocce ball courts.

At the center of the courtyard is a gathering space known as The Hub, where residents can play cards, read or garden year-round in a greenhouse. Memory care residents have their own social courtyard with similar design features and amenities geared toward residents of the care setting.

The social court is also meant to encourage residents to use outdoor spaces during their normal day-to-day routines. Because the building wraps around the space, the shortest distance between any two points is likely through the courtyard.

While Thrive and Pike Properties put a lot of thought into the community’s biophilic design, Ragsdale was also careful not to overthink it.

“We throw around terms that we nerd out on, like ‘biophilic design’ … that we spend a lot of time reading and studying about,” Ragsdale told SHN. “But it’s just common-sense knowledge that, when the weather is decent, we all want to be outside.”

Other amenities for residents include a community “athlete’s center” and a bistro with a coffee shop.

The innovative design doesn’t just extend to the community’s outdoor spaces. Thrive at Montvale is also equipped with an HVAC system that separates the community’s independent and assisted living care settings from its memory care neighborhood, with the end goal of building spaces in which residents can isolate if they come down with Covid.

Construction for the project wrapped up in April and the independent living first residents moved in a month later. The community is still awaiting assisted living and memory care licensure from the State of New Jersey, which the project partners expect to get in a matter of weeks.

So far, pre-leasing for the Montvale community has been “far above” expectations, Ragsdale said.

Pike Properties acquired the property and co-developed it along with Thrive, which is managing the community. Pike Properties also acted as the project’s contractor; and the project received financing assistance from Cushman & Wakefield, with funding from Wells Fargo and capital from AEW.

Though it’s the first community from Pike and Thrive, Thrive at Montvale exemplifies the future of their partnership. The companies are currently under contract for at least two other projects and have more to come after that.

“Within a few hours radius of central New Jersey, we’ve got a pretty good pipeline of opportunities that we’re very excited about,” Ragsdale said.

Companies featured in this article:

, ,