Kendal Corp. is doubling down on its plans for zen-inspired, wellness-focused senior living with a new community in the Los Angeles area.
The Wilmington, Delaware-based senior living operator this week announced plans for Enso Verde, a new life plan community located in Simi Valley, California.
The community follows Enso Village, Kendal’s first zen-inspired project created in collaboration with the San Francisco Zen Center and currently under development in Healdsburg, California. As originally planned, the first Enso project will bring 221 units with fitness and wellness amenities, multiple dining venues and programming centered on mindfulness.
Costing about $300 million to build, Enso Village’s design includes restaurants that are open to the public and offers its residents teaching classes. The community also is opening with a plant-based restaurant inspired by Greens Restaurant which is operated by the San Francisco Zen Center.
Like its sister community farther north in The Golden State, Enso Verde will be highly focused on wellness. That is to do with the popularity of the first Enso project, according to Kendal Chief Strategy Officer Steve Bailey.
“The response from the market for Enso Village – our first Zen-inspired deal in Northern California – has been really unprecedented,” Bailey told Senior Housing News.
He added that pre-sale lease-up is nearly 100% for that community.
“We’re so encouraged by that response – not just in the market but from all around the country – that when this opportunity came up again in Southern California… we decided to take the plunge,” Bailey said.
Kendal Corp recently secured $29 million in bond financing that will be used to buy a 21-acre land parcel for the community’s development as well as for marketing purposes.
When completed, Enso Verde will offer residents a lifestyle focused on mindful aging to about 300 adults aged 60 years or older with needs best met by independent living, assisted living and memory care units.
Developing in California can be slow and the Enso Verde project will be a methodical build, according to Bailey. He said Kendal wouldn’t begin construction on the project until 2025 and wouldn’t open until 2027. Bailey estimates that Enso Verde will cost about $400 million to build.
In addition to offering wellness and zen-specific lifestyle, the community will also include approximately 20 affordable units that will be set aside for Zen and Quaker teachers in addition to about 24 units that will be used for workforce housing.
Amy Harrison is serving as the company’s chief executive following the departure of former president and CEO, Sean Kelly who is now CEO of Front Porch Communities. But even with the recent leadership changes, Bailey believes the expansion of the Zen-inspired Enso communities is in line with the company’s overall strategy.
The opportunity to build another Zen-focused community came along sooner than expected for Kendal. Still, the company’s “strategically opportunistic” growth strategy compels it to jump on opportunities when they present themselves, according to Bailey.
“The success of the first project has created dozens of opportunities for us in California,” Bailey said. “So we’re always looking for new opportunities and new partners, but we’re going to focus on Enso Village first, then Enso Verde, and then we’ll see.”