Three Top Markets for Seniors: Texas, Texas, Texas
By 2030, 25% of the US population will be 65 or older. It's nice to know three Texas metros lead the way in new seniors housing construction. And Bisnow’s DFW Seniors Housing & Assisted Living Summit couldn't have been more timely. (No matter what market you find seniors in, if it's a grocery market, they'll have too many items in the express checkout line.)
Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston are in the top six of the nation’s biggest metro markets for construction of independent living facilities for seniors, says ARA seniors housing managing director Debbie Laycock. (They also have the highest ratings for I Love Lucy re-runs.) With 77 properties and 15,240 current units, Dallas has 554 new units under construction, she told the crowd of about 275 at the Westin Galleria Dallas yesterday.
Memory care products are also gearing up with construction, says Debbie (right, with Trophy Club mayor Connie White), with 1,500 to 1,600 units being added nationally to the existing inventory of 15,000 to 16,000 across those top markets. From a micro-market standpoint, some may think that sector is overheating but Debbie thinks there is demand across the board. That demand will grow across all asset classes of seniors housing, she says. (A fun Debbie note: she likes to adventure travel. Think hanggliding in Rio.)
Loeb Architects prez Zelma Loeb (left, with colleague Connie Adams) says the design of senior living facilities is evolving like single-family housing. The parallel: more demanding consumers. Today, people don’t want the bare bones, they want all the bells and whistles, she says. Another key point: designing facilities that generate interaction among the residents. By forcing people together more, they’re socializing, which improves their emotional well-being and physical health. (At this point, they have more fun than we do.)
When selecting a location for a senior living facility, RJ Development Services prez Ron Hastie says it’s important to have medical facilities nearby as well as complementary facilities like assisted living or independent living properties. As a developer along the West Coast, RJ says doing business in Texas is a breath of fresh air with a pro-business culture that supports growth. He sees opportunities to develop memory care and some high acuity care projects in Texas.
Key Bank Real Estate Capital healthcare agency lending VP Monique Bimler says lenders are looking for projects with good operational expertise. Other key factors: major market locations, demographics, and supply and demand. Most lenders have more conservative underwriting guidelines across the board in the senior living category, she says. A typical deal will see about 70% to 75% leverage. She’s also looking down the road because what you build today and who you serve today, may not be your market five years from now. (And eventually the market you create becomes the market in which you shop. Time waits for no one.) Operators should have the ability to evolve and provide additional services to help residents stay in their facilities longer while meeting their increasing needs.
We think panel moderator, Dennis Noebel of Chicago Title (right, with CASE Commercial Healthcare's Chris Barnet) is one of the coolest cats we know. Apparently, his 17-year-old daughter agrees. She still laughs at his jokes and doesn’t tell him (to his face, at least) that his clothes are terrible. He claims to be a self-appointed social marvel. We agree. It’s a lot like his company with its 170-year track record (it’s still cool, too). Chicago Title DFW strives to be the trusted leader in the title and escrow industry within our local real estate community with a philosophy of believing in relationships, not transactions.
Event sponsor Targus Associates’ Brandi Easton, Britt Blaylock, and Jodi Johnson. The environmental consulting firm provides a wide variety of services from environmental asset management to comprehensive assessments and surveys for renovation, demolition, or lender requirements. Targus staffers can test for lead-based paint or radon, or do property condition assessments. The Dallas-based company has contractors nationwide, too.
From design and installation to maintaining your lighting system, event sponsor WLS Lighting can do it all, says Adnan Kahn and David Neale. WLS offers a variety of services and products including custom lighting; design, photometrics, and engineering services; existing site surveys; turnkey installation and retrofit program; among many others.
We snapped event sponsor Centerpoint Builders’ Tony Rader with FSG’s Larry Walters. Tony tells us Centerpoint just received two Professional Builder Design Awards for best revised plan for The Vue in Fort Worth and the best on the boards for beaming of The Vue on MacGregor in Houston (under construction now). The firm is also getting ready to break ground on the second phase of a Houston project and a new ground-up project in Arkansas.