civil-engineeringBy Noah Nemmers, PE

“Over the next 25 years, seniors will double in number to 70 million and represent 20 percent of the population – a first in the United States.” Ecumen

With stats like these, no wonder Colorado’s largest gathering of senior housing developers, investors, operators, brokers, lenders and real estate professionals turned out for the 2013 Senior Housing Conference & Expo.  This annual event is put on by The Colorado Real Estate Journal.  Attendees received an update on the current state of senior housing on national and regional levels.  There was also in-depth discussion on development trends, construction trends, and investment and finance strategies for affordable senior communities.

Some key points for developers:

  • Due to the current supply and demand for lumber, plan for a 30 percent increase in framing costs over last year.
  • With the increase in vertical construction costs, it’s vital to determine all on-site and off-site costs, as well as utility and tap fees up front.  Therefore, allow enough time—at least 30 days—for site due diligence.  Also, be sure to get expert advice and hard costs.
  • Today’s seniors favor location as a primary need. They want to be a part of the community.  Therefore, site selection and building design need to promote community and an active lifestyle. 
  • When seniors can no longer drive, they want to remain active.  They want to be within walking distance of shopping and community buildings.
  • Given the above point, the best sites are in mixed-use areas that are in the center of town or near key community services.
  • Today’s seniors want to be integrated in communities not segregated from them.

For more information on senior housing, read Ecumen’s white paper, “A New Day and New Trends in Senior Housing Development”.  For information on how Baseline can provide essential, site due diligence services and assist with site planning, zoning, and design for senior housing projects, contact or (303) 940-9966.