Not to be left behind by the ever expanding senior housing market in the Houston metro area, three existing retirement communities are planning significant additions which would expand both their size and continuum of care through a variety of services. The Buckingham, a 323-unit senior living community consisting of 204 independent living apartments, 43 assisted living units, 16 memory care suites and 60 private skilled nursing rooms, was built in 2005, but after reaching full capacity, they sought to fill a growing need for senior care in the area. The $56 million expansion, which will cost about $300,000 per unit, will add an additional 104 IL apartments, 33 AL suites, 18 memory care residences and 32 skilled nursing rooms. The project is set to begin early in 2015 and will finish in 2017. Greystone Development Co. will consult on the development, and D2 Architects, based in Dallas, will design the expansion. Just based on our records, there will be a large number of facilities opening in 2015 alone, so how much penetration The Buckingham will see in the Houston area remains to be seen. Baby Boomers are still at least 15 years away from moving into a lot of these communities, keep in mind.
Meanwhile, a few miles down the road in Houston, Village on the Park just finished construction on an assisted living and memory care conversion. Built in 2000 as a strictly independent living retirement community, the owners, Retirement Center Management, wanted to bring a variety of services to the community in offering a continuum of care to its residents, and to potential ones too. So, in addition to the 143 IL homes already there, the new conversion adds 20 AL apartments and 20 memory care suites. If the other independent living communities in the area attempt similar strategies, that would add to the already 11 assisted living properties (many of which also include memory care) currently under construction in the Houston MSA, representing 24.3% of the Houston’s inventory according to NIC MAP. So, we could possibly see an even bigger influx of assisted living/memory care units in the next couple of years.