With the number of new senior living communities recently opened or currently under construction, there is a growing need to update and refresh existing facilities to help improve their viability in the marketplace.
As new senior housing communities, with all of the latest amenities and design trends, are coming online, older facilities need to position themselves as the better local option. The appearance and freshness of a community can have a significant impact on many aspects of a business. Having an attractive, appealing, and comfortable community can improve resident’s happiness and well-being, increase staff morale, and create a more positive public opinion, all which lead to increased occupancy and better financial performance of the community.
Investing in a renovation project can be a challenging process that can seem overwhelming and complicated. The Douglas Company team has experience in planning and executing renovation projects. We know and understand the unique requirements that skilled... Read More >
All of us in the senior living industry understand that inventory growth has exceeded demand, causing vacancies to rise. I was at a recent symposium and one of the speakers said that the decline in demand was caused by the great depression, an intriguing concept. Research indicates that from 1927 to 1933 that birth rates decreased by more than 425,000, over 15%. This would certainly impact demand, it seems.
The speaker then said that this reversed in the 4th quarter of 2017 and that demand was picking up. A study of US census information shows that it started picking up in 1937, escalating significantly through the start of world war two. 1937 was 82 years ago. The average age for entry to senior living communities is 84 according to most of our clients. This would mean there may be a little more time to wait for a resurgence of demand, unfortunately.'
Peter... Read More >
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As the baby boomer generation begins turning 70, senior living providers will have tremendous opportunities. At the same time, they will face the challenge of reinventing their business and providing innovative solutions to meet the needs and demands of this new generation.
Today’s seniors are looking for options that deliver the comforts and amenities of home. This trend is changing the design and construction of senior living communities. Designers are incorporating more residential design elements and finishes into new buildings, resulting in vibrant and comfortable spaces that are very inviting for residents. The buildings being designed and constructed today are not your father’s senior living facility.
By involving a general contractor very early in the planning process, working collaboratively with the design team, an owner can understand costs, lead times and constructability of various design components, and have the ability to make timely decisions. The general contractor can also provide potential alternative options... Read More >
The Douglas Company, General Contractor, is excited to announce completion on the construction of Your Life Senior Living, a new Memory Care Community located in Stuart, Florida.
Your Life Senior Living Memory Care Community is a 60,217 square foot, $12.6 million community constructed in four sections, each with its own theme, ensuring that every neighborhood has an individualized, homelike quality. The interior has a bright, open layout with many elegant finishes. Amenities include activity rooms for arts and crafts, and therapy classes, a salon and spa, theater room, putting green, and an interior courtyard that is beautifully landscaped with butterfly gardens and a rock waterfall.
The Douglas Company collaborated with Olson Land Partners and architect, Leo A. Daly, to provide this state-of-the-art community that offers 74 residential rooms and is designed to promote safe and abundant living for area residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
"We celebrate the completion of this Olson... Read More >
Since our founding in 1976, The Douglas Company has focused on building senior living and multi-family projects for owners and developers who depend on us to control the risks and costs of the many facets of development. During that time we have developed comprehensive processes for nearly everything we do.
From preconstruction, project start, through construction, project completion and warranty, we have 68 detailed and documented processes in place that are followed, tracked and reported on consistently. Additionally, we are continuously training our staff on these processes to assure consistency in the delivery of quality products. These proven processes, and The Douglas Company’s discipline in following them is a true competitive advantage and provides our clients with the added value they deserve and expect from The Douglas Company.
Earlier this year, we decided it was time to “brand” our processes to help our clients better understand how The Douglas Company will fulfill... Read More >
The Interface Conference in Atlanta proposed some interesting questions with possible answers. Everyone talks about the first baby boomers turning 72, intimating that this is a positive for senior living. But the average entry age for senior living properties is about 85, depending on who you talk to, so there is a long time to wait for the first baby boomer. Not surprisingly, developers are starting to think about how to attract baby boomer retirees. Minimal, à la carte services in an affordable, yet reasonably sized apartment is one. Home health care can be layered on at a later date. One provider is using food trucks for his kitchen, a different truck, with different types of food every night. It’s amazing to me to see the number of people my age retiring. Though they are closer to 60, there is a discussion of downsizing, lower maintenance, more freedom, and more... Read More >
The Douglas Company, General Contractor, has completed construction of the new Stonecrest of Rochester Hills Senior Living Community in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Stonecrest of Rochester Hills marks The Douglas Company's second senior living project completion with owner and developer, NorthPoint Development. "Stonecrest of Rochester Hills is a beautiful complement to the area, and we are proud to have been part of this project team," said Preston Knecht, Project Coordinator of The Douglas Company.
The upscale 78,342 square foot assisted living and memory care community, is comprised of 87 private apartments; including a single-story, 32-unit memory care building in addition to a two-story assisted living building offering a total of 55 assisted living one and two bedroom suites.
This $15 million upscale, elegant community features a variety of amenities for seniors; including an arts and crafts room, beauty salon, movie theater, cyber cafe, and exercise room. The exterior layout consists of an outdoor... Read More >
The baby boomers, the massive increase in births that occurred between 1945 and 1964, started turning 65 in 2011. The population of people over 65 stood at just over 41 million people in 2011. With approximately 10,000 people turning 65 each day, the over-65 population is projected to grow to over 85 million by 2050.
The baby boomers have shaped the housing market for many years, and as baby boomers approach retirement, there is no doubt, they will shape the senior housing market for years into the future. Market studies indicate that as baby boomer age, they want to maintain an active lifestyle either within their own community, or a community near their adult children. While many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible, a higher percentage of the baby boomer generation, compared to the previous generation, desire an easier “carefree” lifestyle.
Senior (age restricted) apartment communities, villas,... Read More >
There is a large need in the senior housing market to develop and build affordable communities. The current economy mandates, due to higher interest rates and high construction costs, the need to design and develop senior facilities that produce better, not bigger, designs. The best senior community operators are looking at downsizing all of their new senior properties to respond to the current market conditions and to increase competition in most markets.
As many young Americans are attracted to micro-units, so too will seniors. The key to having an affordable design that will compete in the market is controlling the square footage of the living units, and the common space, while still providing top tier amenities.
The Douglas Company is working on developing a prototype design for an assisted living and memory care communities that controls the square footage of the entire building footprint, but still provides a design that feels like... Read More >
Lately, as I talk with our senior living clients, many of them seem to be thinking about the same challenge. Similarly, that same challenge seems to be the topic of seminars at recent industry conferences, as well as the subject of several articles published in many of the trade magazines. How do we provide senior living solutions to the middle market?
For much of the past thirty-five-plus years, development and growth of the senior living industry has been off the charts. Everyone understands that as the baby boomers age, we will be hard-pressed to meet the demand, however currently there continues to be concern and discussion that the market is becoming overbuilt. But upon further study, one will quickly discover that most of the growth and development has been either on the high-end or on the affordable/subsidized end of the market. Very little new development has been targeted at the middle... Read More >
An interesting study was published recently on the impact of slow payments in the construction industry. It estimated that the average payment cycle for subcontractors is 54 days, and that is costing the industry over $40 billion dollars each year. That's a staggering figure, but one that makes sense when you consider the cost of construction rising and the amount of financing it takes for subcontractors to stay in business. This added cost comes from a number of sources:
- Finance charges from lines of credit subcontractors must take out to afford materials.
- Late fees assessed by suppliers when subcontractors can't pay bills due to non-payment.
- Lost revenue from liquid assets being stuck in accounts receivable versus short-term investments.
- The inability for subcontractors to obtain discounts from their vendors for prompt payment.
While this stresses the importance of making prompt payments on construction projects for the benefit of subcontractors succeeding, there is... Read More >
I am continuously amazed at the quality of environments our clients are hiring us to construct and the fantastic services they are providing for our senior population. Outstanding socialization opportunities, healthy diets, exercise programs, and support for meds and other health issues legitimately extend both the quality and duration of the lives they serve. But many seniors fight the opportunities to move into these bright, airy, social environments in favor of staying in their dark, lonely homes. I can say I don’t fully understand this.
As a general contractor specializing in senior living solutions, I have a distinct advantage to see all of the new options available. The senior living environments we are building today far surpass those of even 10 years ago. These ‘holistic’ environments are innovative. They not only provide for the medical and physical needs of the individual. They take special care to plan and build spaces that... Read More >
It is getting increasingly difficult to keep almost all senior projects on schedule during the construction phase of the projects. Some of the hurdles that impede schedule achievement are as follows:
- Limited manpower available from most subcontractors
- Quality of the manpower due to lack of proper training
- Poor or no supervision being provided by subcontractors
- Material delivery timelines
- Poor design documents
- The number of government inspections and the timing of the inspections due to reductions in the number of inspectors by a lot of government agencies
- The quality level of most senior projects the last five years has increased to almost a resort level of finish
- There are ways to help control or help minimize these schedule impacts that The Douglas Company employs on every project:
- Design check to help prevent drawing coordination issues
- Put material purchasing based lead times including shop drawing review for all material on each construction... Read More >
During the height of the recession, I wrote a blog on the same topic. Times have changed since then, so circumstances have changed, and it’s worth revisiting. Prices keep increasing, making projects more challenging. As construction activity has increased, the number of trade subcontractors and skilled workers has increased only nominally, and supply and demand are pushing up prices, including for materials. With all the challenges of price increases, owners are asking themselves if they should competitively bid their project to get the best prices.
To best understand this, it is important to look at the underlying processes. Development is a complex endeavor, and risky. Though it is tempting to think that the best price comes from competitively bidding, what is on the drawings is 85%-90% of the cost of a project, so critically important. The key is to understand and control what is on the drawings to reduce and control... Read More >