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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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 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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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 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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Senior Living Renovation is an Investment, Not an Expense.

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...

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The Great Depression’s Impact on Senior Living Occupancy

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...

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Not Your Father’s Senior Living Community

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...

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Your Life Senior Living Memory Care Community Construction Completed

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...

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Integri-D Building Peace of Mind

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...

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Senior Living: Meeting the Changing Needs

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...

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The Douglas Company Announces Completion of Stonecrest of Rochester Hills Senior Living Community

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...

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Baby Boomers — The New Wave in Senior Living

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,...

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Better, Not Bigger

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...

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Senior Living for the Middle Market

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 have 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...

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