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Developers Bet On Super-High-End Assisted Living In Manhattan

Developers Bet On Super-High-End Assisted Living In Manhattan
Two buildings at 56th Street and Lexington Avenue, which have since been demolished for ultra-luxury senior living

Assisted living has long been the exclusive domain of the suburbs, but two JVs are setting out to merge it with luxury urban housing.

At 93rd Street and Second Avenue, Maplewood Senior Living and Omega Healthcare Investors are building a 23-story, $270M assisted living community with rents starting at over $12K per month, miles beyond rents found anywhere else in the country — that is, until Welltower and Hines complete their 16-story development at the corner of 56th Street and Lexington Avenue, Crain's New York reports.

That facility may see rents as high as $20K a month, catering to a narrow demographic that will balloon in size as the boomer generation ages into conditions such as Alzheimer's that require care. The two JVs are betting that well-off seniors will prefer to remain in their urban home neighborhoods and in accommodations that befit their income levels.

“If you’ve lived your whole life in a limestone-clad building on the Upper East Side, this will not feel alien to you,” Welltower CEO Thomas DeRosa told Crain's. “This building should feel like a seamless part of the community that someone would have experienced for the last 60 to 80 years.”

The buildings are planned for design touches specifically geared toward those with visual and cognitive difficulties, such as paint schemes chosen with the assistance of an app that simulates degraded eyesight. Both buildings will have concierge-style care designed to look distinct from traditional medical staff.

With amenities such as farm-to-table dining, a movie theater and a 16th-floor "sky park," Maplewood CEO Greg Smith wants to position such assisted living communities, for which both Maplewood and Welltower are scouting additional locations, as "a hotel brand — a high-end luxury hotel brand."