Onelife Senior Living is nearing the official launch of its seventh community, and looking ahead, the company has more growth planned beyond that. .
The 103-suite senior housing community located in Springfield, Oregon, dubbed The Esther at Riverbend, has been in the works since Onelife began acquiring parcels of land for the community in 2017, according to Onelife Senior Living CEO Zack Falk. Construction on the community began in 2022.
“It’s a really interesting project,” Falk said. “I feel like we’re doing a good job on staying on top of it and opening in a decent amount of time.”
The Esther at Riverbend is located next to Onelife’s The Rawlin at Riverbend Memory Care community as well as a hospital, both perks that help make the community stand out, according to Falk.
What makes The Esther stand out, according to Falk, is that “it is built for the next generation,” including baby boomers and their family members. Amenity rooms were intentionally designed to be large and gathered in, and include rooms such as a bistro, a tea room, library and a community dining room.
“It should be really exciting for them … and it should be an opportunity for staff members to potentially bring their kids in if they need to from time to time,” Falk said. “These people are still living and thriving, and it’s not the end of their lives, it’s just another phase of it.”
The community is currently sitting around 20% occupancy for pre-leasing, Falk added.
The Esther at Riverbend is the culmination of a years-long growth and evolution process. The company has since its 2009 founding expanded its footprint to a total of seven communities in Oregon, Arizona and Illinois, representing around 1,500 units for residents, with around 700 being directly operated by Onelife and the remainder being operated by Frontline Management due to the skilled nursing facility component of the communities. Falk got his start in senior living working as a cook in a 52-unit memory care community before moving up to a care partner and med tech.
He said his background gives him the perspective to “see things from the ground” and that he has a better understanding of what is going on at the property level.
Onelife Senior Living has plans to continue to grow in the future as well, with Falk noting the company recently acquired a distressed property in Chicago and that it is looking for more opportunities to grow beyond that. Onelife also plans to grow through ground-up development, but only when capital markets improve, Falk said. By putting development on hold, the company was able to focus on stabilization and recovery, which helped improve its operations.
“Our portfolio is over 90% occupied and our operating margins are about to pre-pandemic levels,” Falk said. “This is going to be a year of fine-tuning our operation and putting ourselves in a position … to take advantage of some of the opportunities that are coming up.”
Moving forward, Falk said Onelife’s mission is to support its care partners and residents, but that he does not have ambitions to grow the company with overall size as a goal.
“We don’t necessarily want to be the biggest company, but we do want to be the best company and a great company to work for,” he said.
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