Senior housing in the Boulder-Denver area faces both challenges and opportunities, notes industry expert Elisabeth Borden.
The area’s low unemployment level is creating serious labor shortages in senior properties, while opportunities abound to create a new generation of senior housing to serve baby boomers, explains Borden.
“Boomers are also open to options such as for-sale cooperatives, cohousing, and neighborhood and home-based care networks,” said Borden, president and founder of the Highland Group in Boulder. The Highland Group is a market research and development planning firm for housing and care for seniors.
Borden, a baby boomer herself, will moderate a panel titled “Colorado Senior Housing Industry Perspective” at a halfday conference later this month.
CREJ senior housing conference
The 2019 Senior Housing & Care Conference & Expo will be held from noon until 4:45 p.m. April 17.
With more than 350 expected to attend, it will be the largest conference of its kind in Colorado this year.
The senior housing conference will immediately follow the Health Care & Medical Office Building conference, also produced by CREJ.
Both conferences will be held in the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center.
Borden: Labor shortage to worsen
Borden noted that senior properties are facing a labor shortage crisis.
“The labor shortage situation is projected to get even more severe,” Borden said.
“The labor issue is impacting the ability of properties to deliver on their promise of quality care and is also negatively impacting their bottom lines,” Borden explained.
Another problem looming: Older properties that have operating costs similar to new properties but can’t command the same pricing as newer properties loaded with amenities.
That could drive down occupancies in older senior housing communities.
Baby boomers, however, provide a golden opportunity for senior housing in the Boulder-Denver area.
“Boomers … are embracing housing products such as patio homes, new condominiums and new rental apartments in vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods and suburban downtowns,” Borden said.
“There are also opportunities to build new senior housing and care properties in more dynamic, urban infill locations,” Borden noted.
The beauty of infill development is that they provide “built-in neighborhood amenities and walkability,” Borden noted.
That allows senior housing developers to build smaller buildings with fewer amenities, as the neighborhoods themselves are a key amenity.
In addition to Borden, other senior-housing experts at the conference will include:
- Rick D. Thomas – Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP;
- Lisa Melby – Board Chair, LeadingAge Colorado;
- Lana Peck – Senior Principal, National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care;
- Shawn J. O’Connor – Director, Valuation & Advisory|Senior Housing/Healthcare Industry Group, Cushman & Wakefield;
- Craig Erickson – Executive Director, Wind Crest;
- Camille M. Burke – Chief Operating Officer, Cappella Living Solutions;
- Susie Reimer – Principal, Ascent Living Communities;
- Kevin Putman – Senior Vice President Operations and Development, Well Age Senior Communities;
Expert panels continue
- Joe Mikalajunas- Chief Operating Officer, MorningStar Senior Living;
- Jerry Taylor – EVP, Strategy and Operations, Solera Senior Living;
- David Fik – President, Lantz Boggio Architects;
- Dan Feagans – Project Director, Brinkmann Constructors;
- Derek Stathis – Construction Manager, Pinkard Construction;
- Sara Parsons – Principal, Gallun Snow Interior Design;
- Jami S. Mohlenkamp – Principal, OZ Architecture;
- Susan J. Barlow – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Moon Capital Partners LP;
- Rob McAdams – Vice President, Lancaster Pollard;
- Jessica Johnson – Senior Vice President, BOK Financial;
- Eric Johnson – Senior Vice President, Ziegler;
- Hayden Behnke – Senior Associate, Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors;
- Matthew Turner – Managing Partner, MorningStar Senior Living;
- Michael Schonbrun – Founder & CEO, Balfour Senior Living;
- Thomas Finley – Principal, Ascent Living Communities;
- Robert D. May – Managing Partner, Avenida Partners;
- Ray Oborn – President of Cherrywood Pointe & Executive Vice President of United Properties, United Properties; and
- John Reinsma – Managing Director, Confluent Development.
Wide-ranging panel topics
In addition to the panel Borden in moderating, other panels at the conference will include:Industry Challenges and Future Outlook; Design & Construction; Capital Markets; and Panel and Development & Investment Strategies.