Senior Living Development News, September 25, 2014 - Assisted living technology at its best
September 25, 2014:
Your biweekly update on people, places, projects, plus...
The opening of The Legacy at Falcon Point (scheduled for October 9) is notable for several reasons. First, it is part of an assisted living boom in Katy, Texas (a suburb of Houston). Second, it claims to be the most technologically advanced senior living community in the state. And third, it is only one piece of a large development pipeline from PinPoint Commercial, which is a developer of industrial, medical and senior housing properties across the southeast and Texas, and its operating partner, Thrive Senior Living, which operates senior living communities in Texas, Georgia and four other southern states.
The 164-bed assisted living (120 beds) and memory care (44) community, which broke ground last June, was built by Cadence McShane Construction, based in nearby Houston, and designed by another Houston business, the architectural firm Three Square Design Group. There are 82 units, ranging in size from 380 sq. ft. to 700 sq. ft., and all are licensed for double occupancy. PinPoint financed the project with traditional bank financing through Texas Capital Bank.
Legacy at Falcon Point is not the only new assisted living development in the city of Katy. As we saw in the last issue of SLDN, new assisted living construction is hot in the Houston MSA, representing 24.3% of all inventory in the area according to NIC MAP, and that includes Katy. In The Houston Chronicle, Ann Hodge, president/CEO of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce cited the city’s proximity to the Energy Corridor, improved mobility, access to quality schools and development of new communities as the reasons for the area’s growth. And as more and more families move to the area for the jobs and the schools, they may want to move Mom or Dad, who have limited mobility or Alzheimer’s, closer to home. Also developing assisted living in Katy is Stroud Development, which is scheduled to open their new community, The Orchard, also in October. Despite the building boom, PinPoint expects to reach full occupancy at Falcon Point in 18 months, with all private payers.
Technologically, Legacy at Falcon Point seems to be the most comprehensively advanced senior living community in Texas. We talked to Charles Turner, Principal at PinPoint Commercial, about how the new community stood out among their competitors. After touring about 300 senior living buildings throughout Texas, many of which boast a few of these technologies, Turner said that he had never seen a community with this many innovations. To mention a few: there is discreet monitoring of residents’ lifestyle and behavioral patterns, daily motion activity and sleep patterns which will alert staff to potential health and lifestyle problems and motivate residents to stay physically fit; Legacy will also be the first stand-alone AL and MC community to feature “Smart” RFID Door Locks which measures exactly who enters each resident’s room and how much time they spent there, keeping the care staff accountable and reducing the risk of theft. Basically, these new technologies provide better accountability of care. Staff and loved ones can access these metrics online and find out if the residents are receiving the care they need (and were promised), and if they are maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Turner also mentioned they were rolling out a new tablet computer called Breezie, which was developed in the UK. It is essentially a Samsung Galaxy Tab, but dramatically simplified. The home screen is reduced to three buttons: the “Scrapbook” which syncs messages, photos and videos directly from Facebook, and keeps the resident engaged in social media; a contact list for texting, calling or skyping; and the app store which can be added to and modified remotely by either family members or the facility staff. Legacy also plans on helping its residents become more proficient with the internet and social media, thereby keeping them connected.
The Legacy brand will not stop in Katy. PinPoint has many more communities planned throughout the South. They have three communities already under construction: one in the metro-Austin area, one in Schertz, Texas and one in New Tampa, Florida. They also have a significant development pipeline, with seven AL/MC properties in the pre-development stages with five to be located in Texas (one each in Amarillo, Lubbock and El Paso, and two in the Houston metro area) and two in New Mexico (in Albuquerque and Santa Fe). PinPoint will bid out contractors in each properties, but they will use Three-Squared Design as their architecture firm for all. Thrive Senior Living will be the operator. To finance the pipeline, PinPoint is using traditional bank financing, though they are considering putting together a consortium of lenders to fund their future projects. Turner also said that PinPoint was looking into independent living opportunities. Let’s see how Legacy fares first. .........Want to read more news? Click here for a free trial to The SeniorCare Investor and download the current issue today
It’s unusual to see a metro area with a population of nearly a million increase its number of assisted living units by over 30%, in a year. Nevertheless, Fresno, California is looking to add 364 new assisted living units to the city’s existing 579 units, or a 63% increase, (according to NIC MAP) by 2015. A report from Central California Institute for Healthy Aging expects the senior population aged 65 and up to grow considerably in the next five to 10 years, as seniors wishing to retire in California may see Fresno as a less expensive option compared with the rest of the state. Governor Brown recently complicated matters as well, by cutting funding to taxpayer-backed redevelopment agencies, meaning that as affordable housing options dry up and California real estate prices rise, the more affordable Fresno area may become even more appealing for retirees still looking to enjoy the California lifestyle.
Right now, there are four communities set to open or under construction in the Fresno area that will add 364 new assisted living and memory care units and extensively renovate a popular CCRC in the area.
Carmel Village at Clovis, owner/operator Frontier Management’s first assisted living community in the area, is set to open soon with 107 assisted living apartments, and will add 48 memory care units and 30 assisted living cottages in Phase Two of construction. Frontier operates communities across the West and in Illinois, and worked with Bryan Glover, an independent commercial financer of senior living properties, to develop the community. Rates will start at $3,200 a month, which include supportive health services. But, residents will have plenty of amenities, like a movie theater, salon and pub, and they will even brew their own beer, make wine and press olives grown on the property to make olive oil.
Another luxury retirement community, Oakmont of Fresno, is under construction and will open next year. Developed by Oakmont Senior Living, which saw an absence of senior living in northwest Fresno, the 75,000 square-foot community will have 56 assisted living and 23 memory care apartments, ranging from 400 to 1,200 square feet, and will feature high ceilings, crown molding and spacious bathrooms.
A collaboration between Paintbrush LLC and Ponderosa Communications Group is constructing an assisted living community in Fresno, with 100 units, 25 of which will be for residents in need of memory care. Paintbrush Senior Living, scheduled to open in summer 2015, was designed by Douglas Pancake Architects, and will cost an estimated $11.8 million, or a very reasonable $118,200 per unit.
And finally, a popular (and the only) CCRC in the area, The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens, recently completed their $120 million renovation of the community, which offers 398 units in a continuum of care from independent to assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and short-term rehab. Included in the project, the community, working with Greystone and American Baptist Homes of the West, also opened in February of this year a new 86-unit IL building. The CCRC, which was renovated to look like a Tuscan resort, works with tenants from every economic level. It looks like IL demand is strengthening in this post-recession environment..............Want to read more news? Click here for a free trial to The SeniorCare Investor and download the current issue today
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