Rising Development Costs

There was a recent article in Senior Housing News that discussed the rising development costs in senior housing being to the tune of a 6.4% increase last year according to a report created by CBRE.  During the same period, which was 2019, the average number of units per project decreased to 106 from 128. 

As you can imagine, two primary drivers of this were a robust construction market and the increasing labor expenses.  This isn’t necessarily new as the article also confirmed that overall U.S. construction activity has mostly increased over the last ten years, which thanks to the laws of supply and demand drive up material costs regularly. 

It was interesting to note that site acquisition expenses represented 10.1% of development costs and that the average site area decreased 15% as demand for good sites increased significantly in metropolitan areas. 

So this trend is not just about senior housing exclusively as the...

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The Douglas Company Promotes Leadership Within – Jeremy Bartolovitch Named Vice President of the Southeast Region

Vice President of the Southeast Region

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, is pleased to announce the promotion of Jeremy Bartolovitch Vice President of the Southeast Division located in our Orlando, Florida office.

Mr. Bartolovitch began his career with The Douglas Company in 2008 as a Project Coordinator progressing to Project Estimator, then Senior Estimator was later promoted to Chief Estimator, and has since earned the position of Vice President of the Southeast Region. In his role as Vice President, Mr. Bartolovitch is directly responsible for the construction and successful completion of all projects and operations in the Southeast Region.

"Jeremy has excelled during his time with The Douglas Company, and is a proven leader who has been dedicated to the success of our company and our clients since he joined our team," said Peter Douglas, President of The Douglas Company. "He has earned this promotion through his focus on growing our business, his expertise...

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Mid-Market Musing

I learned early in my career how little I know.  Though we have built more senior living than anyone I know and have been exposed to very successful senior living developers and operators, they all operate differently.  Someone recently said to me, “An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until eventually, he knows everything about nothing.” But I don’t think that is the case in my situation.  It’s just that there are a lot of ways to be successful if you know what your Hedgehog Concept is, as Jim Collins would say.

Mid-market became a newer thing a couple of years ago.  They often say what is old is new, and this might be one of those situations.  We, in conjunction with a number of clients, are working on several mid-market concepts.  They hearken back to the eighties when this industry was starting, and people’s...

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The Stepping Stone for Baby Boomers

The “Silver Tsunami” of Baby Boomers is not knocking on the door of assisted living communities just yet and still has several years to go before they are.  So how are senior living developers going to entice these folks to leave their homes?

A recent article in Senior Housing News noted that in a survey of 120 senior housing professionals, 87% of them responded that they are currently pursuing active adult apartment projects.  They see the need for a stepping stone so to speak; getting seniors to leave their homes that are nowhere near ready to move into an Independent Living community much less an Assisted Living community.  Seniors in this segment are still looking for active, vibrant lives and are not ready to see what the future looks like by living in communities where they would see just that. 

If seniors can stay in place longer in these communities with the...

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The Douglas Company celebrates the completion of construction on All American at Kingston

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, celebrates the completion of construction on its seventh project with owner, Kaplan Development Group, LLC. The $13.4 million, All American at Kingston, is a 58,000 square-foot, 112 bed assisted living and memory care community located in Kingston, New Hampshire.

All American at Kingston was designed by EGA Architects and boasts several in-house amenities including a full-service kitchen, country kitchen, salon, bistro, media room, parlor, library, arts & crafts room, and an interior courtyard. The building is metal-framed and constructed on a slab on grade over a standard spread footer/stem wall.  The exterior is finished with two types of Hardie siding including lap boards and “cedar” shakes, with a mix of EPDM and asphalt shingle roofing. 

“The Douglas Company team displayed a high level of professionalism, experience, and dedication, along with a commitment to quality throughout construction. They cultivate a teamwork environment working with our project team to...

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Bright Future for Senior Housing

One thing was clear at the National Investment Center for Senior Housing (NIC) fall conference that was held recently in Chicago.  The interest in senior housing continues to grow.  With more than 3,300 attendees at NIC, it was a whirlwind of activity meeting with developers, operators, equity providers and lenders, all who are optimistic about the future for new development in senior housing.

There seems to be no limit to the private equity that is available to experienced developers who along with their operating partners have a solid track record.  Private equity funds that target the senior housing sector raised more money in 2018 than at any time before, with more than $15 Billion raised.  This is up from the previous record of $10.8 Billion raised in 2015.

This high level of interest in senior housing can be supported by the fact that the number of Americans age 65 and above is...

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What’s really happening with mid-market senior living?

The Douglas Company has done a lot of work on developing Mid-market senior living prototypes that are cost-effective, functional and durable.  Though we have expertise in senior living construction, we are not experts in the operations of these communities.   So while we can attack the cost of the physical plan, which is really is only 10% of revenue, it's a small part of the solution.

At the NIC Conference, people talking about how to serve the mid-market, but only one had a prototype.  It was intriguing and thoughtful and we are studying it further, but there was limited other focus on this market from what I saw.  NIC had a session specifically devoted to this, and there were a number of statistics I wouldn’t normally consider impacting current and future demand for this product, such as the changing demographics related to marital status, location relative to children, changing health-related factors, and...

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The Forgotten Middle

A lot of solid data has come out in recent months from NIC regarding the senior middle-income population that will not be able to afford private-pay senior housing and care options, nor will they qualify for Medicaid.  It is concerning because that is such a large percentage of the country’s population.  Per the NIC report, the number of middle-income seniors will nearly double to 14.4 million by 2029.  It is predicted that over half of them will not have the financial resources for senior housing and healthcare as it is priced today.

There was a great session at the NIC conference in Chicago recently discussing this topic.  It is a private sector issue to tackle in regards to developing more affordable housing communities.  It is a public sector issue to tackle by developing tax incentives targeted to the middle market and possibly expanding Medicare coverage as well as subsidy programs to...

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The Douglas Company is excited to announce the Completion of Construction on YourLife Memory Care Community

The Douglas Company, an award-winning Toledo, Ohio based general contractor specializing in senior living, multi-family and mixed-use construction projects, is proud to announce the completion of construction on the new YourLife Memory Care Community, located in Coconut Creek, Florida.

YourLife of Coconut Creek is a 61,760 square-foot, two-story memory care community with 84 apartment-style units. Residents will enjoy amenities including multiple common areas, a spa and beauty salon, numerous screened-in porches, interior courtyard, putting green, and a butterfly heritage garden. This $13.2 million community owned by Olson Land Partners, was designed by architect, Leo A. Daly to deliver the most exceptional memory care and engaging lifestyle for residents living with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, as well as, meeting all stringent South Florida hurricane protection requirements.

"The Douglas Company is excited to be part of the project team celebrating the successful completion of this development. We...

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High Performance

The key that is often overlooked as to why certain construction company’s projects succeed more frequently and sustain long term success, is the proper alignment of each project team on a daily basis.

To help with team alignment, at The Douglas Company internal daily huddles are conducted throughout all levels of the organization to help foster shared goals, a common purpose, facilitate clear communication, resolve conflicts, and align behaviors.

These daily huddles ultimately enhance performance, get everyone working together, and playing from the same playbook of contributing to each team’s success. It’s what keeps the business running and employees productive and empowered. Holding a daily huddle is perhaps the most important tactic a business can employ to help their company leaders and associates stay focused.  

Each morning at The Douglas Company our huddles confirm and give updates on daily projects and priorities. This meeting rhythm makes us accountable to each other, to...

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Robotics in Construction

With a continued labor shortage across the country and no signs of change in the near future, some firms are looking to/have implemented robots into their workforce to help combat this issue. Robots in their present capacity are being used to perform repetitive tasks like laying brick, tying rebar, hanging drywall, etc. They are also performing demolition, 3-D printing, and assisting with lifting activities. In 2018 the construction robotics industry was roughly a $23 million market, however, this market is being forecasted to grow to nearly $226 million by 2025 according to the article by Tractica. Some of the benefits being reported by those utilizing robots are increased speed and efficiency, higher levels of safety, and the ability to integrate with design software such as BIM. As one who has never had robotics performing labor on a construction project, I am looking forward to experiencing it and to what impact...

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Construction has begun on HarborChase of Stuart

The Douglas Company, an award-winning Toledo, Ohio based general contractor specializing in senior living, multi-family and mixed-use construction projects, is pleased to announce that construction has begun on HarborChase of Stuart, a 127,798 square-foot assisted living and memory care community in Stuart, Florida.

Co-developed and owned by Denver-based Confluent Senior Living, co-developed and operated by Florida-based Harbor Retirement Associates and designed by Baker Barrios Architects, Inc.; HarborChase of Stuart will provide a mix of 134 assisted living and memory care apartments in the two-story facility.  The luxury senior living community will feature amenities including a full-service commercial kitchen, multiple dining areas, a salon, massage room, wellness room, three interior courtyards complete with multiple fountains, a shade sail, a putting green, resident planting beds, a fire pit, and high-end interior finishes.  Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020.

“Our project team is excited to be building this phenomenal development. ...

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The Productivity Problem

Construction is an industry obsessed with productivity - And for good reasons. The more productive our field operations, design teams, and management work is, the faster and less expensive the projects are. Unfortunately, construction has suffered from losses in productivity over the last decade, particularly at the field level. Major trades like framing, drywall, and concrete are slipping several percentage points.

This phenomenon is attributable to many factors, but several key ones include:

  • Changes in Scope and/or Project Expansion - No matter how well you plan a project, changes happen - And they slow things down. The Independent Project Analysis Group has estimated by a study that more than 35 percent of all construction projects will incur a major change. They've also concluded that any change puts the project at a 1 in 4 risk of schedule slippage by 20% and a 1 in 4 risk...

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The Douglas Company Celebrates Groundbreaking of the New Blue Heron Health and Rehabilitation Community in Wesley Chapel, Florida

The Douglas Company, an award-winning Toledo, Ohio based general contractor specializing in senior living, multi-family and mixed-use construction projects, celebrated with the owner, TLC Management, Inc., a recent groundbreaking of their new $33.2 million Blue Heron Health and Rehabilitation Community in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

Blue Heron Health and Rehabilitation Community will feature a total of 201 residences inclusive of 106 skilled nursing, 22 memory care, and 73 assisted living suites. Meticulously designed by Cuhaci & Peterson, the community will encompass approximately 158,971 square feet of living and communal space with amenities including a health spa, theater, game room, wellness gym, activity center, resident art gallery, library, putting green, and bistro shop – all conveniently located on-site. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020.

“It's gratifying to bring TLC Management’s vision to life.  Blue Heron Health and Rehabilitation will be a beautiful space with first-rate services that meets the...

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