5 Development Projects to Watch in 2022 and Beyond

The senior living industry is many things in 2022 — but one thing it is not is stale.

Across the industry, new ideas are percolating on how operators can best attract and serve older adults in the coming years as a new generation of residents takes hold. From communities woven into the fabric of urban living to a brand-new spin on the decades-old co-op model, here are five communities to watch this year and beyond:

Saint Therese’s ‘new urbanist village’ project

In Corcoran, Minnesota, a new development coming together exemplifies a possible future for senior living — one where communities are woven into the fabric of urban life.


The community is one of the latest projects from Minnesota-based non-profit operator Saint Therese, which has full-continuum senior living communities in New Hope, Brooklyn Park and Woodbury, Minnesota; as well as a hospice and palliative care operation in nearby Shoreview and a transitional care facility in Robbinsdale-based North Memorial Hospital.

The organization is calling its newest community, Saint Therese of Corcoran, a “new urbanist village that breaks down old barriers.” The operator bought a 13-acre plot of land in the City of Corcoran’s Southeast District earlier this year. From that site will rise a senior living community with 154 apartments for independent and assisted living residents, and possible future phases to add skilled nursing care and transitional care.

Saint Therese is far from the only senior living operator targeting urban areas. But what’s unique about the Corcoran project is that, if the operator’s plans play out as hoped, locals may not immediately recognize it as a senior living community.


The community plays a role in a new town center plan from the nearby city government to create a “walkable/bikeable downtown core that will feature a variety of businesses and retail shops, office space and plenty of open areas.”

“The design of the campus will incorporate the look and feel of Main Street and welcome the public in to grab a cup of coffee, take a class, swim in the indoor pool, attend an outdoor concert, shop at a farmer’s market, and work out in the fitness center,” Saint Therese wrote of the forthcoming community. “Residents of Saint Therese of Corcoran will integrate seamlessly with the greater community.”

If all goes according to plan, Saint Therese of Corcoran will break ground this fall. And if recent trends are any indication, it could be among the first of many of its kind.

Courtesy Saint Therese

Ewing Properties puts new twist on co-op model

Senior housing cooperatives are not a new concept, but a new line of communities from Ewing Properties is remixing the model for a new generation of older adults. And the company is expanding the co-op model beyond its birthplace in the upper Midwest.

Pella, Iowa-based Ewing is adding to its Vintage Cooperative portfolio with something it calls the “patio home” model. Instead of housing residents in congregate buildings with condo-like dwellings, the patio model consists of freestanding homes. And that is a sizable departure from the model pioneered some five decades earlier in Minnesota.

For Ewing, the value proposition of the patio model is clear: All the benefits of a senior living cooperative, but with the comfort and space of a single-family home. This idea is of particular interest to residents who are ready to downsize or cash out, but who are not ready for apartment-style living, according to Ewing Properties Sales Director Heather Ropp.

“Our membership is trending a little bit younger in the single-family home patio homes than it is in our apartment style [co-ops],” she said.

The first patio-style cooperative in Ewing’s Vintage Cooperative portfolio opened recently in Pella, Iowa, with more locations forthcoming in North Liberty, and Debuque, Iowa; and Columbia, Missouri.

Ewing Properties is not the only company looking to break the mold specifically for co-ops. And as the product type potentially expands beyond its birthplace in the upper Midwest, projects like Ewing’s Patio Home model may just be the leading edge of a larger trend.

Via Vintage Cooperatives

Garden Spot Communities’ intergenerational ambitions

Garden Spot Communities CEO Steve Lindsey wants to help break down barriers between senior living communities and their surrounding neighborhoods. To achieve those aims, the company is embarking on a unique, mixed use development that melds senior housing and intergenerational living.

The to-be-named infill development in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is planned to include 150 residential units as part of a 250,000 square-foot building, with a 5,000 square-foot interior courtyard.

On the community’s first floor, 10,000 square feet will be dedicated to a retail component. To help bring the public into the community, the project will also include a pedestrian alleyway known as the “Mews,” Lindsey said, where art exhibitions or small concerts could be held.

“This was a shift in perspective,” Lindsey said. “As we look at new projects, we wanted to look beyond how we could create new, engaging environments where older adults can thrive.”

That’s based on a white paper by the Stanford Center on Longevity which purports that as a society, the U.S. was once one of the most age-integrated societies in the world at the start of the 20th century. By the end of the century, the U.S. was one of the most age-segregated societies worldwide.

“We’ve lost so much as a culture and as a society because we don’t have that connection between generations,” Lindsey said. “I really believe that it will be a big part of the future for senior living.”

Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2023 and continue for approximately 20 months of build time, Lindsey noted.

Garden Spot’s forthcoming community is among the more ambitious ways that operators are emphasizing intergenerational living. And should that trend gain even more momentum, the community in Lancaster could serve as a blueprint for others.

Rendering courtesy Garden Spot Communities

New The Springs Living community represents decades of experience

The Springs Living first came to be in 1996 — and a new project by the McMinnville, Oregon-based operator in Vancouver, Washington is the culmination of nearly three decades of experience.

Known as The Springs at The Waterfront, the 12-story community is planned to have 250 residences in the Portland, Oregon, metro area, with a mix of floor plans across AL, IL and memory care. It’s slated to include amenities such as a spa and wellness center — a mainstay at other The Springs communities — an indoor pool, and multiple dining venues.

The project, currently under construction, is part of a 32-acre master plan eight miles north of Portland on the Columbia River. That location will put the community in the midst of a thriving urban environment, with nearby parks, restaurants, retail, hotels and waterfront space.

“This project is the progression and evolution of what we’ve been doing for the last 26 years,” The Springs Living CEO Fee Stubblefield told Senior Housing News earlier this year. “The property was the right configuration, the right size and the right location.”

The community is currently pre-leasing, and if all goes according to plan, it will open in 2024.

Not only does the project exemplify decades of innovation and experience from The Springs Living, it also comes with forward-thinking environmental standards, including LEED Silver certification. On top of the environmental rating, the project also is also aiming to get FitWel certification.

Rendering courtesy The Springs Living

Greenbrier Development’s Drawbridge Hotel CCRC conversion

Greenbrier Development has been a driving force behind some of the most high-profile CCRC projects in recent years, including the Ventana in Dallas, The Spires at Berry College, and the forthcoming Enso Village. Add to this list a project in the Greater Cincinnati area, which is a development to watch for exemplifying many of the top trends driving the future of senior living.

One of these trends is the redevelopment of hotels into senior living communities, which has gained steam as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the hotel industry. In this case, the former Drawbridge Hotel and Convention Center in Fort Mitchell — about seven miles southwest of downtown Cincinnati — is being transformed into an 11-story CCRC with plans for 196 independent living units, 18 assisted living units, 24 memory care units and 24 skilled nursing units. A $200 million first phase is already underway, according to a report in the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Aligning senior living with health systems is also a key industry trend embodied in this project. In addition to Greenbrier and Brandicorp, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is a partner in the development. St. Elizabeth serves Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with more than 10,000 associates and nearly 1,600 physicians and advanced service practitioners.

Other examples of this health system trend include Belmont Village’s partnership with Baptist Health South Florida, with a first project that just topped out in Coral Gables. That community will include a “Live Healthy by Baptist Health” space, staffed by the health system, in order to promote greater wellness among residents. While it remains to be seen what St. Elizabeth’s involvement will yield, a spokesperson said the health system wants to “help enhance the health and vitality of our communities.”

Furthermore, Buckner Retirement Services has been tapped as the operator for the CCRC. The Dallas-based nonprofit is a leader in bringing a wellness focus to senior living, including through partnerships with organizations such as Cooper Aerobics. Such offerings are attracting a younger resident base, Director of Operations Chuck Childress said at SHN’s WELLNESS/DISHED event earlier this year.

Including senior living in mixed-use developments is another key industry trend. In this case, Brandicorp plans to develop the area around the CCRC with restaurants, retail and potentially office space. This should create a walkable environment where residents have easy access to a variety of amenities as well as intergenerational interactions.

The involvement of all these stakeholders, including leading names in senior living, in a project that exemplifies so many key trends makes this a development to watch.

Courtesy Perkins Eastman

Tim Mullaney, Austin Montgomery and Nick Andrews also contributed to this story.

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