Creating a Senior Living Community

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Apr 172015

Who’s a senior? Once upon a time a 55 year old was considered a senior. Though I’m in my 70’s, I don’t consider myself a senior. Don’t get me wrong I realize that there are a lot of people out there who are 55 and consider themselves seniors. However, I believe there are more and more people like me who are in their 70’s and beyond who still have a lot of energy, vitality, experience and enthusiasm to share. And, of course, it is the goal of the Baby Boomers to live longer while living healthy and active lives.

In my case, I know Hawaii real estate, in particular Hawaii resort real estate. While you can look at my website and see what I have been doing for the past 40+ years, that’s not what I want to share with you. What I want to do is share my thoughts on how to create a successful, vibrant senior living community in Hawaii.

The upscale Hawaii resort, retirement and pre-retirement market is red hot right now. Most of the current action is concentrating on Oahu where the majority of the population of Hawaii resides. You will find some pockets on the neighbor islands that were developed for the very discriminating international buyer, however, for the most part international investors look to Oahu before they explore the neighbor islands. Having said that, there is a significant core of real estate investors who fall in love with one of the neighbor islands and dream of retirement on their island paradise.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the possibility of aging in place on one of the neighbor islands has not been practical until now. In my opinion, the model for the future of senior retirement living will be developed on one of Hawaii’s neighbor islands-specifically in Kamuela on the Big Island.

When advertisers feature Hawaii to their market, they present blue skies, waving palms and people relaxing next to beautiful blue water. Reality is that when discerning world traveler and developer Lawrence Rockefeller created Hawaii’s first luxury resort the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for tourist he also created the Jacaranda Inn in Kamuela where he lived.

Kamuela has a distinct advantage. The people who make up the community are some of Hawaii’s finest, the Kahilu theater developed by Richard Smart is a first class community theater and the 2 large shopping centers with full service super markets are within walking distance of the 35 bed Queen’s Medical Centers North Hawaii Community Hospital which includes adjacent land that would be ideal for a modified CCRC community.

Based on research and experience, I believe that senior living developments that cater to affluent active seniors of every age will be developed along the lines of the evolving Continuous Care Retirement Communities’ (CCRCs) concept which encourages senior living community members to remain active in business, socially and as part of the larger surrounding community. In order to remain relevant, the culture of a continuous active lifestyle coupled with the security of lifelong independent assisted care must be maintained. The condominium hotel concept has evolved to work well for financing condominium hotels. This concept coupled with a long term management agreement could well be the catalyst for a surge in a new kind of CCRC.

Want to learn more about why you should consider Kamuela for your senior living community? Contact me.
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