An $85 million luxury senior community in Rancho Bernardo – Silvergate Rancho Bernardo – opened in mid-July, built by Ryan Companies for AmeriCare Health & Retirement.
“It’s just a gorgeous, gorgeous facility,” said Hans Muecke, senior vice president of operations for the Western Division of Ryan Companies.
“I could call it a class A senior living resort,” Muecke said.
Built on an 11-acre site that had been vacant land set aside for a possible school site on Avenida Venusto, Silvergate Rancho Bernardo has 20 cottages, 108 apartments, six penthouse suites, and 48 memory care apartments in a separate section of the campus and a clubhouse.
Apartments range from 400 square feet to 1,200 square feet and the cottages are 1,400 square feet to 1,600 square feet.
Warner Design Associates designed the interior finishes.
The clubhouse includes a media center, lounge, banquet room, a 70-seat theater, mail room, health center, spa, yoga studio, fitness center with equipment specially designed for older users, an art studio, card room, hair salon and game lounge.
The project also has a 57,000 square-foot underground parking garage, a restaurant with a seating capacity of nearly 200, a separate bistro, a lap pool and pool house, a bar, croquet court, bocce ball area, putting green and electric vehicle charging stations.
“The outdoor spaces in this are just quite lovely,” Muecke said. “You can almost sense that people are going to get a lot out of living there. Instead of staying in one spot, they’re going to be able to wander the grounds.”
Every apartment has either a balcony or patio of at least 200 square feet, said Sondra Brakeville, Silvergate Rancho Bernardo executive director, and the cottages have two-car garages.
The secured memory care apartments have a courtyard separate from the rest of the campus with a separate staff, two community rooms, a private dining room and activity room, Brakeville said.
Licensed for Several Levels of Care
The entire project is licensed for several levels of care, so residents can stay in their apartments as the level of services they need increases short of skilled nursing care, said David Petree, chairman, president and CEO of AmeriCare.
“As they age in place and need assisted living service, they do not need to move to a new building,” Petree said. “We’re able to bring those services to them.”
To get in to Silvergate Rancho Bernardo, renters must pay a community fee of $40,000 to $100,000 up front in addition to paying monthly rents that range from $4,500 to $9,500, excluding the memory care apartments.
Monthly rates for the memory care apartments range from $8,000 to $9,000, depending on the level of care needed, Brakeville said.
She said the project is about 90 percent leased, with most renters coming from the immediate Rancho Bernardo area.
A majority placed deposits on apartments before construction started, Brakeville said, adding that the goal is to be fully leased by October or November.
AmeriCare Health & Retirement operates senior communities in Fallbrook and San Marcos.
“Our belief is you own a few high-end properties and you take care of them,” Petree said.
The company also owns medical office buildings in Encinitas and Vista, according to its website.
Silvergate Retirement Residence Fallbrook opened in 1990 and AmeriCare acquired Silvergate Retirement Residence San Marcos in 1994, Petree said.
“We really like staying in the San Diego areas, that’s our preference,” Petree said, adding that Silvergate Rancho Bernardo will be the company’s flagship operation,
AmeriCare acquired the Rancho Bernardo site in 2013 for $7.4 million, Petree said. He said the company chose Rancho Bernardo because it has an affluent, older population.
Renters range from the 60s to mid-90s in age, Brakeville said.
Petree said about 20 people who had preleased apartments backed out because they didn’t want to move during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic had little effect on the construction of the project because it was so far along by the time the pandemic hit, Muecke said.
“I hate to say it went really well during a pandemic but as well as could be,” Muecke said. “We were very fortunate. When the pandemic arose, we were in the punch list phase, so all the material was on site. We do have projects across the country that are seeing material delays and shortages.”
Ryan Companies has built 46 senior communities nationwide and Muecke said the company would like to build more in San Diego County.
“We’re pretty aggressively looking for partners,” Muecke said. “The demand is definitely there.”