Manny Gonzalez – New Active Adult Communities Adopt Modern, Flexible Designs

Seniors Housing News

August 4, 2019

Active adult communities with a range of unit types, flexible common spaces and a range of services or convenience offerings are finding appeal among prospective residents.

The age-restricted and rental active adult sectors are seeing a surge of interest from prospective residents and investors alike. This has helped spur new development of the product type across the country, from Margaritaville’s single-family homes to Avenida Partners’ plan to invest $200 million annually in the development of rental active adult communities.

The rental active adult sector — which has risen in popularity with investors this year — has seemed to grow in recent years, according to Manny Gonzalez, principal at Irvine, California-based KTGY Architecture + Planning. KTGY has recently worked with companies targeting active adult projects, including Avenida.

“From a business standpoint around the country, there’s more and more people getting into the active adult rental market-rate space,” Gonzalez told Senior Housing News. “The key thing is to really understand where your renters are coming from and what kind of houses they’re selling to move into these rental communities.”

To that end, KTGY’s active adult clients are looking to build communities with floorplans and features that appeal to the local market. In particular, communities with one- and two-bedroom apartments are gaining appeal in certain markets.

“We seem to be seeing a shift to two-bedroom units,” Gonzalez said. “It used to be primarily one-bedrooms, and now it’s half-and-half, [two-bedroom to one-bedroom].”

Active adult communities are also coming with more convenience offerings, such as grab-and-go bistros, mini markets or areas with concierge services for residents, he added.

Communities are also often coming with community kitchens that can be turned into commercial kitchens, should the property be converted to independent living one day, according to Dean Maddalena, founder and president of senior living design firm StudioSIX5. Based in Austin, Texas, StudioSIX5 is an interior design firm specializing in senior living communities, with many projects located in urban markets.

“There’s a real demand in independent living and assisted living for communities in more urban areas, but there’s just no land there,” Maddalena told SHN. “So, this is an easy way where someone can come in later and convert it [from active adult].”