A 17-story high-end apartment tower with 180 apartments designed for aging upper income tenants is set to officially open in UTC in mid-July.
Belmont Village Senior Living La Jolla, located at 3880 Nobel Drive, claims a number of firsts – the first apartment project built by the partnership of Belmont Senior Living and Greystar and the first to include a research lab by the University of California San Diego to study aging.
The research lab by the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging will be an extension of the work researchers are doing at the university and study all aspects of aging with the help of Belmont Village residents, who will be invited to participate in the studies.
Calling the project “a living lab,” the center’s executive director, Danielle Glorioso, said that it is “a dream come true” that “allows us to expand the work that we’re doing and really connect with older adults, the people that we serve.”
“It sort of takes the work that we’ve been doing and takes it to the next level,” Glorioso said. “We are going to be able to embed our research right here in the community so we are going to be able to work with aging adults right where they live.”
Besides contributing to the research as participants, Glorioso said that Belmont Village residents could get help and insight into health issues they might have, from trouble sleeping to mental acuity and balance.
“All of the work that we do is work that not only benefits the field of aging but the people themselves,” Glorioso said.
Patricia Will, CEO and founder of Belmont Senior Living, said that having a living lab in the UTC project continues a relationship that her company started with UCSD several years ago.
“We did a project with them to improve the sense of well-being and resilience for seniors who live with us,” Will said.
The result was a study that showed that various activities – mental and physical – could help people live longer and healthier.
Will said that the findings of the UC San Diego study have been applied throughout the senior living centers in Belmont’s portfolio.
Belmont Village La Jolla used the study findings in both its design and the amenities and activities it will provide residents, Will said.
Amenities include an art studio, a heated salt water pool, two restaurants that offer al fresco dining, a fitness center with professional trainers, a massage room, a screening room with enhanced sound, a hair and nail salon, a rooftop lounge, a conference room, and a social lounge with a pool table, large screen televisions, poker tables and a bar.
“The apartments have walk-in closets, large bathrooms, and wonderful kitchenettes,” Will said. “The idea is to render a building that is every bit as beautiful as condos or apartments would be for any population while respecting safety and security constraints of the elderly.”
Will declined to say how exactly how much the 209,000-square-foot project cost to build but said it was more than $100 million.
The 180 apartments are a mix of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments.
Monthly rents for independent living apartments start at $6,830, $7,080 for assisted living apartments, $9,740 for assisted living apartments with memory care programming, and $10,560 for memory care apartments.
An Ideal Site
The site had been a parking lot for a medical center and tennis courts for an adjacent condominium projects, both of which have been cleared for the apartment tower, said Jerry Brand, San Diego County executive director of Greystar.
“The location was excellent for senior housing. It was near a lot of the wealth along the coast in La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, etcetera,” Brand said.
Although actual leasing was schedule to start until the project as formally opened, Brand said applications had been filed on about 70% of the apartments.
Brand said that after acquiring the site in 2017 with the intent of developing an apartment project for elderly tenants, Greystar teamed up with Belmont Senior Living after researching companies that operated similar projects.
“Belmont as a company was the equivalent of the Four Seasons to the hotel industry,” Brand said. “They are your high-end senior service provider.”
The building was designed by Joseph Wong Design Associates of San Diego with Suffolk Construction as the general contractor.
Although Belmont Village Senior Living La Jolla is the first joint venture for Greystar and Belmont Village Senior Living more are planned, Brand said, including a 200-apartment project in Encinitas that is expected to break ground later this year.
Historically, Greystar has focused on building high-end luxury apartments, but Brand said the company is expanding into senior living projects to meet a growing demand from so-called baby boomers born after World War II.
“If we look at the demographics of the baby boom, we’re clearly in a situation that so many are retiring, they’re reaching retirement age,” Brand said.