Development group Live Give Play and partner Spiritos Properties have announced a new active adult community that promises to bring urban life to small-town markets, and one that could serve as a model for a larger nationwide expansion.
The two companies are collaborating on a five-story, 110,000 square-foot active adult rental project in Northampton, Massachusetts known as 79 King Street. As planned, the community is slated to have 70 units with one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts available for monthly rates starting at about $2,000.
The thesis behind the project is that baby boomers are seeking to downsize without giving up their lifestyle or by moving into a more traditional senior living community. Live Give Play CEO David Fox also believes that they will desire a more urban feel without actually living in the big city.
“Our goal is to bring a Brooklyn-life feel to smaller cities throughout the country,” Live Give Play CEO David Fox told Senior Housing News. “There’s no reason why people can’t be entirely happy in an urban in-fill apartment in a walkable neighborhood.”
The Northampton project will be a “scalable model” of what Live Give Play wants to do across the country, Fox said. The company is “targeting cities that once were a major train or river hub, and University cities that feature downtown cores developed before the automobile,” according to its website.
“We’re finding that college towns are the most choice targets, because they already have so much to offer in so far as a walkable urban urban environment,” Fox said.
The ultimate idea is for the communities to partner with local universities or the local chamber of commerce, and for residents to mentor both students and business people.
“We’re also going to have relationships with local nonprofits to encourage people to donate their time, because they have a lot of life experience to give back,” Fox added.
Sustainability is a big priority. Project partner BKSK Architects designed the community with mass timber, which is also called engineered wood; and to meet Passive House standards with an emphasis on walkability and community engagement.
The community also will include roof-mounted solar panels and electric vehicles available for residents to rent and use. The effort to have the electric vehicles on hand plays into a larger goal to get residents to scale down from two cars to one — or potentially give up their car altogether, with nearby walking trails and shopping.
“The idea of coming as close as possible to a carbon neutral living situation is paramount in our consciousness,” Fox said.
The project in Massachusetts is still raising equity ahead of securing a construction loan and building permit, with an expected groundbreaking in the spring of 2023 followed and a targeted opening date in the latter part of 2024.
Looking ahead, Live Give Play “very ambitious, and we want to scale this up as quickly as possible,” Fox said. That is due to the monumental need for similar kinds of senior living communities.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had a business where I welcome people to copy it, because there’s no way that my company will ever be able to fulfill all the need,” he said.
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