The pieces are coming together for The Mather, a $460 million high-rise life plan community just outside Washington, D.C.
The Mather, a forthcoming 378-unit life plan community in Tysons, Virginia, will span two high-rise towers — one that is 18 stories tall and another that is 27 stories tall — and also include more than 18,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project is facilitated through a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Evanston, Illinois-based Mather LifeWays and Illinois-based real estate investment manager Westminster Capital.
The new community near the nation’s capital is part of a more than $500 million growth pipeline for the senior living nonprofit that also includes an expansion and renovations at Splendido, a Mather LifeWays life plan community in Tucson, Arizona.
Mather currently manages three communities located in Evanston, Tucson and in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette. The nonprofit is also exploring the possibility of entering other urban markets around the country, according to Mather LifeWays President and CEO Mary Leary.
“It’s a little premature to share specifics, but we are hoping to develop additional life plan communities [in urban markets],” Leary said. “We’re also actively looking at acquisitions, mergers and affiliations.”
The Mather moves ahead
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on June 25 approved entitlements for the Tysons site, clearing the way for The Mather to move forward, pending a 30-day appeal window.
Already, the project has more than 200 priority members, or prospective residents who have put down a refundable $1,000 payment for the best choice of floor plans and layouts, early medical approval, pre-construction pricing and other perks.
The Mather is now accepting 10% deposits from its priority member list in the order which they paid. Mostly refundable deposits for the community start at $650,000 and go up to around $4 million, with monthly service fees for residents expected to start at $3,545 for a one-bedroom and $4,985 for a two-bedroom apartment.
The nonprofit will obtain short-term construction financing for the project when between 60% and 70% of the community’s units are pre-sold, a milestone the provider hopes to hit next spring. Site work could begin as early as the fall of 2020, and the community is currently on track to open its doors in 2023.
The Mather will offer a full continuum of care, modern design flourishes and an array of smart-home technology that includes voice-enabled personal assistants and an automated parking system. It will also have a publicly accessible park with nearly three acres of green space and amenities alongside a community center for both residents and older adults who live in the surrounding area.
“Fairfax County wanted to have a large urban park in this area, and we were fortunate to identify a piece of property that allowed us to have this green space,” Leary said. “It will include a dog park, an urban lawn for concerts, walking paths, badminton court, bocce ball … and a grand staircase leading from the street up to the park.”
The Mather is aimed at attracting older adults from surrounding Virginia, Maryland and D.C., who tend to be well-educated and interested in having a plan for their future, Leary explained. And it’s a culturally diverse population, too, with nearly a third of the life plan community’s priority member depositors hailing from countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and India, she said.
“We’re looking to design a community that will appeal to all of these cultures from art to wellness to cuisine,” Leary said.
Mather LifeWays also aims to achieve LEED Gold certification for its D.C. project, an accolade that its community in Evanston won in 2012.
“We are seeing more and more older adults being environmentally conscious and really coming in with … an expectation that communities will be built to those standards,” Leary said.
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