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East County Wednesday, May 2, 2018 1 year ago

Upscale assisted living facility comes to Lakewood Ranch

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Grand Living plans to open in summer of 2019.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

Eric Anderson, the Ryan Companies' vice president of real estate development for senior living, said newly turned seniors in Florida were experiencing a problem.

They had moved to Florida to enjoy their retirement, or soon-to-be retired life, when they would find their parents needed to live in an assisted living facility.

Ultimately, it meant moving back to the place they had left to be close to their parents.

That was just one of the incentives to build upper scale assisted living facilities in Florida.

The thought was that the Ryan Companies would build facilities next to affluent neighborhoods, where the residents would have the means to keep their parents close in an upper scale facility, right in Florida. No moving or travel necessary.

The Ryan Companies has broken ground one such facility, Grand Living at Lakewood Ranch, on the southeast corner of Lorraine Road and University Parkway. It is the company's third facility in Florida, joining one in Jacksonville and one in Citrus Hills.

It will be a four-story, 200,000-square foot building that, Anderson said, will separate itself from other assisted living facilities in the area, and the state. The planned opening for the building is summer, 2019.

Anderson said most assistant living facilities move their owners or tenants into different accommodations as they require more care. Grand Living is designed to bring any care needed to the tenant without forcing a move. The only time a move is necessary is when the resident wants to move, or if a change to the memory neighborhood is necessary.

"The more someone gets used to his or her neighbors, the more they want to stay," Anderson said. "We are upper scale and all these are distinctive units. Assisted living at most facilities means smaller units."

Anderson said the industry standard has been to move residents with more needs into smaller units. Even though it may be in the same building, it's a move they often don't want to make.

Another difference at Grand Living will be residents will not pay an entry fee. Anderson said the monthly fees at Grand Living are "slightly" higher, but he said most assisted living facilities charge between $300,000 to $1 million as an entry fee. A percentage of that amount is returned when a resident leaves a facility.

Those at Grand Living will be renters, who will have access to wide variety of perks.

"We will have a grand spa and salon," Anderson said. "We will have senior friendly exercise equipment and a fitness director who will arrange custom programs. We will have a performing arts theater for music, plays and just to be a place people can gather. This is about lifestyle."

Grand Living will have three dining areas that will offer a bistro, casual and formal environment. He said assistant living facilities often use the same dining room and then schedule different casual or formal events. He said the different tact is all about giving the residents more choices.

"Some people just want to show up in sports coats," he said.

Anderson said his company researched Lakewood Ranch and that the project "made all the sense in the world."

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