Developer Targets Mall Redevelopment for Two New Senior Living Projects

A developer is well underway on plans to add senior living at two former shopping malls in the Chicago area.

The Northfield, Illinois-based firm, Integrated Development II, is a co-investor with Affinius Capital, formerly known as USAA Real Estate and Centennial Real Estate, on two senior living communities included in the redevelopment of malls in Aurora and Vernon Hills, Illinois.

” Affinius [Capital] brought us in at the planning level as they were looking at the multifamily uses and that way we were able to come up with a plan that worked for everybody,” Integrated Development II CEO Matt Phillips told Senior Housing News. “That was really important to us compared to other mall opportunities and other renovations.”  


Members of the Integrated Development II team have developed properties including Club at Briarcliff Manor, a Senior Lifestyle community in New York; and Vi’s community in Palo Alto, California.

Integrated Development II / SAS

The luxury projects underway — the 166-unit Sophia at Hawthorn Mall and the 216-unit Sophia at Fox Valley Mall — are slated to carry a full care continuum, with IL, AL and memory care units across both developments. The projects share similar design elements with an emphasis on intergenerational connections and mixed-use spaces. The redevelopment projects are located in Vernon Hills and Aurora, Illinois, respectively.

Integrated Development II / SAS

The projects are also part of larger redevelopments, and are designed to integrate with retail, dining and outdoor spaces to create hubs for intergenerational connections. The project planners are also currently planning to add multifamily units in phases at the former malls.


The project organizers expect to start on Sophia at Fox Valley Mall in 2024, while they are still in the process of securing building permits for Sophia at Hawthorn Mall. The latter project was also dependent on debt markets stabilizing, Phillips said.

The Illinois projects and Florida community will be operated by Solera Senior Living.

Part of Integrated and Phillips’ calculus about the senior living industry is that such communities are rapidly becoming part of the fabric of everyday living, rather than existing off to the side outside of a metro area.

Outside of the Chicago-area redevelopment projects, Integrated Development is active on other projects in Florida and New York.

Projects include The LaVerne in downtown Sarasota, which will bring luxury senior living with 160 apartments that offer AL and memory care services. The other project is,RiverSpring Living and Hebrew Home, is a large-scale continuing care retirement community (CCRC) with 260 IL, AL and memory care units. The $500 million project is currently pre-selling units with deposits for the CCRC. Project planners expect to break ground on the projectnext summer, with a 30-month construction period to follow.

Phillips is no stranger to senior living. He previously led Senior Lifestyle’s development arm, and his experience has led Integrated Development to build unique relationships within the industry.

“We wanted to do things together for years and [Solera] is on the cutting-edge from an operational standpoint,” Phillips added. “Having a manager that shares a vision of the hospitality side of the business is important.”

To make all these projects work, Phillips said Integrated had to lean heavily on partners to ensure projects stayed workable amid debt market turbulence.

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