Retirement communities face growing demand for space, luxury

Retirement communities face growing demand for space, luxury

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 29, 2019 – One of the hotter deals in the Orlando real-estate market is open only to people age 62 and older and comes with the guarantee of a nursing home bed should you need it.

As baby boomers age and seniors continue to retire to Florida, the state’s strong housing market has led to heightened demand for high-end continuing-care retirement communities – where residents can move from independent living to assisted living to skilled-nursing care.

“Now they have dining options and spa services and golf courses and wine rooms,” said Bruce Rosenblatt, owner of Senior Housing Solutions, which helps older adults navigate the sea of residency options based on their needs and finances. “This is not an old folks’ home.”

Earlier this month, when Westminster Communities of Florida broke ground on a second apartment development in pricey Baldwin Park, the nonprofit senior housing provider already had contracts signed on all 75 units – despite requiring entry fees that start at nearly $250,000 and don’t give residents actual ownership of any property.

“I would say this proves that there’s a lot of demand,” said Wes Meltzer, director of communications for the organization, which has more than 7,000 residents in developments around the state. “We’ve had very successful expansion at Westminster Baldwin Park – and in other parts of the state over the past few years, too. We have a new apartment building we’re going to be constructing at Westminster Shores in St. Petersburg that is currently 90 percent reserved without breaking ground yet. And we just opened a new apartment building, Westminster Oaks, in Tallahassee. We sold all 40 apartments there in about six weeks.”