A new senior living community will be opening in early 2020 in Plainsboro Township near Princeton. Ovation at Riverwalk is a new active living community designed with the “aging well” movement from the SageLife group.
As part of the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, guests’ complete health care needs are available within steps of where they reside. The development will include 260 fully age-restricted apartments.
Kelly Andress, the founder and president of SageLife, said “Princeton Medical Center has created this campus that has everything needed for a quality retirement. When this whole campus was laid out, we heard about this opportunity to locate there and just jumped at it.”
CBRE’s Summer 2018 Seniors Housing & Care Investor Survey found that investor interest in senior housing remains strong, with nearly two-thirds of survey respondents expecting to increase the size of their portfolios over the next 12 months. Investors appear most interested in the lifestyle-focused segments of senior housing. Independent living was identified as the best investment opportunity, followed by assisted living. The active-adult segment also is attracting considerable interest.
And Andress says SageLife properties offer seniors a community that gives them the best of all worlds. “We offer extensive resort-quality amenities in a stylish and innovative setting built around the latest trends, all with a catalog of activities and programming that allows the residents to explore things that matter to them the most,” said Andress. “We go where our residents lead us. We listened to the requests and heard and exceeded their expectations. All the wonders of a cruise ship are at their disposal with a hospital right next door.”
Andress has been supportive of senior housing since she began her career in senior living in 1989 at Sunrise Senior Living where she was vice president for development and finance. She helped define the company that came to define the industry. Over the years, Andress has been closely involved in the development of more than 20 communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic; developing, acquiring and operating senior communities at all levels of independence and care.
With SageLife, Andress launched a new concept in senior living – communities that go where their residents lead them. In 2005, her husband Mike joined her and the couple, along with other staff members, committed their resources to SageLife Senior Living. Mike Andress is responsible for design and construction for new development projects and physical asset management for existing communities.
We believe that retirement is changing. Our mission is to be the best home for each member of the SageLife family. We encourage, empower and celebrate successful aging.
Ovation at Riverwalk will be the sixth complex in the company’s community series. Andress has developed complexes where she knew she could create campuses with the flexibility to support and nurture individuals as they age and SageLife is poised for continued expansion up and down the East Coast. So far there are communities open in Wallingford, Paoli, North Wales, and Malvern in Pennsylvania, as well as a project in Towson, Md. And no two SageLife communities are the same.
Andress Ovation’s size is large enough to be diverse, yet remain comfortable. “No one gets lost in this size and it is not too small where there is too little diversity,” said Andress. It will consist of 145 one-bedroom units, 39 of which will be affordable units, 100 two-bedrooms, and 15 studio units. The size of each apartment can range from 600 to 1600 square feet all with full kitchens.
Growth across the board
According to CBRE’s December 2018 U.S. Seniors Housing Development Costs Report, building designs continue to incorporate more lifestyle options, with the percentage of independent living units up by 17 percent. The percentage of net rentable area increased slightly, indicating developers are building larger units or reducing the amount of common area to offset costs. Senior housing development projects in 2018 were larger than a year ago. The average unit count was 128, up 5 percent. Total gross building area increased by 4 percent.
“What separates our senior community from others is something we call fully amenitized, age-restricted apartment living,” Andress said. “We will have underground parking, four dining venues, an indoor pool that can also be outdoors, two raised terraces for dining and recreation, and it has a fitness center.”
There are even intellectual amenities – lecture series, theater trips, wine tastings. Thus, Andress feels she and her team have created an environment where the mind, body and spirit can flourish and residents can enjoy a life after having a full life. That also means programming, amenities and a staff dedicated to the concept.
“We believe that retirement is changing. Our mission is to be the best home for each member of the SageLife family. We encourage, empower and celebrate successful aging,” Andress said. “Our number one goal is to build a great place to live.”
She said the community is designed so that people who want to give up the headache of a home can do so and still stay within a community.
SageLife has teamed up with development company South Bay Partners, which specializes in developing superior senior living experiences. South Bay says it provides “next stage senior living” with a focus on residents’ personal growth and holistic view of life so it was a natural fit for SageLife. The company provides a full range of development and redevelopment services including market identification and analysis, site selection and acquisition, regulatory approvals, budgeting, debt and equity financing and project management.
The engineer for the Ovation site is Wall-based French & Parrello Associates. Commercial construction is being done in a joint venture between Charles Hall Management and Parsippany-based Hollister Construction Services, HC Squared LLC.