There is no simple answer to sum up the state of the senior housing industry along the Front Range.
“It’s a big market with 10 different product types,” Elisabeth Borden told me.
Borden, principal of The Highland Group, a consulting group in Boulder that provides research, planning and marketing solutions for senior housing and care communities, will have the daunting task of providing the state of the national and regional senior housing industry at a conference next month.
The conference, sponsored by the Colorado Real Estate Journal, will be the largest conference on senior housing this year in the Rocky Mountain region.
The conference will follow a separate conference that morning at the Hyatt on health care and medical office buildings. That conference also is sponsored by CREJ.
One topic Borden is sure to address at the senior housing conference is the surge of building in recent years of assisted-living facilities, especially those that provide memory care.
In some submarkets of the metro area, memory care facilities have “reached capacity” and could be facing overbuilding, she said.
Following the Great Recession, a need was seen for such facilities and they were considered somewhat immune to a downturn in the economy, she said. The building flurry, however, is slowing down as demand appears to have been met, she said.
There have been fewer new developments of independent living facilities and room for growth in that sector, however.
Another trend is that some luxury apartment communities are being developed for those 55 and older.
Interestingly, those entering that market segment tend to be traditional apartment developers, rather than those specializing in senior housing, according to Borden.
One fast-growing segment of the market is not senior housing at all, but rather short-term rehabilitation facilities.
A number of those are springing up to help people get back on their feet, more or less literally, after something like a knee or hip replacement, for example.
Long-term, the senior housing industry along the Front Range looks pretty strong, especially as baby boomers want to be near their grandkids.
“I think we already are a destination area for retirees,” many of whom will ultimately need some kind of senior housing, Borden said.
Baby boomers who raised their families here and whose children now have their own families don’t want to leave.
“And it doesn’t hurt that this is a beautiful, desirable area, where people want to live,” Borden said.
“If you have grandchildren spread across the country, you probably will choose to live in Denver, rather than in some less-desirable parts of the country,” she said.
Topics at the CREJ senior housing conference will range from design to investment and financing strategies.
In addition to Borden, the Who’s Who of senior housing experts participating in the conference will include:
- Kevin Peters, partner, Husch Blackwell LLP;
- Laura Landwirth, president and CEO, LeadingAge Colorado;
- Lana Peck, senior principal, National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care;
- Michael Schonbrun, founder & CEO, Balfour Senior Living;
- Camille M. Burke, resident, Cappella Living Solutions;
- James Parker, senior vice president of Development and Capital Markets, Spectrum Retirement Communities LLC;
- Craig Erickson, executive director, Wind Crest;
- Nancy Schwalm, chief business development officer, Vivage Senior Living;
- Angela Green, vice president of sales and marketing, Bethesda Senior Living;
- Dennis Boggio, president, Lantz-Boggio Architects;
- Jami S. Mohlenkamp, principal, OZ Architecture;
- Gary Prager, principal, hord coplan macht;
- Tom Kooiman, director of business development – Western Region, Brinkmann Constructors;
- Keith James, development manager, Inland Group;
- Matthew T. Turner, chief financial & development officer, MorningStar Senior Living;
- Donald J. Marcotte, director of development, Northstar Commercial Partners;
- John Reinsma, vice president of real estate, Confluent Development;
- Pamela Pyms, president, Pyms Capital Resources;
- Rob McAdams, vice president, Lancaster Pollard;
- Kevin Peters, partner, Husch Blackwell;
- Elizabeth Gundlach Neufeld, deputy executive director, Property Operations and Development, Housing Authority of the City of Aurora;
- Michael Thomas, vice president, Gershman Mortgage;
- Yong Cho, principal, Studio Completiva; and
- Jennifer Haynes, partner, Husch Blackwell LLP.