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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
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Aging Well

A 309-unit senior community set to break ground later this year in Carlsbad is among the latest examples of developers adding resortlike amenities to attract the baby boomer generation into its next phase of housing.

Dos Colinas, on a 46-acre parcel south of Cannon Road and east of El Camino Real, will include a theater, fitness center, restaurants, a wine bistro, coffee shop and a travel planning office.

The Wesley Palms main lobby is designed to be more resort or hotel-like than traditional senior housing communities. Photo courtesy of Wesley Palms

“They want to determine how and where they age more than previous generations,” John Rimbach, president and CEO of Carlsbad-based WESTLiving LLC, said of baby boomers. “Senior housing is taking a direction that is more aligned with hospitality and resort living.”

WESTLiving bought Oakdale of La Mesa last year and has embarked on an $8 million renovation there.

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WESTLiving is a portfolio company of Carlsbad-based West Partners, which also has launched Vitality Senior Living to develop senior communities across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S.

Wesley Palms in Pacific Beach and Seacrest Village in Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo also are among the local companies investing in more amenities and modernizing their senior housing facilities and campuses.

WEST Living has nine senior communities in California, Arizona and Washington. Communities feature full-service apartments with large, well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms; some of the apartments are as large as 1,400 square feet, a significant increase in size from a decade ago, Rimbach said.

The communities include lavishly furnished and decorated bistros, wine bars, theaters, computer rooms and entry lobbies. Services include wellness monitoring, personal training, brain fitness programs, nutrition programs and use of electronic medical records.

“We invest a lot of money and resources in our people talent,” Rimbach said. “We really want an engaged workforce.”

Tradition and Technology

Wesley Palms in Pacific Beach, a community of Glendale-based Front Porch, launched an ambitious redevelopment plan that preserves the midcentury feeling of the original building designs but is packed with the latest amenities and technology.

Seacrest Village grounds include features such as ponds and putting greens. Photo courtesy of Seacrest Village

The main building renovations feature a café, remodeled library and reading patio, business center, fitness/well-being center and a heated therapy pool.

Twenty-nine single-story patio homes will open this summer. When the revitalization is complete, there will be a total of 168 patio homes.

“We have an extraordinary location, a unique history and a strong sense of community that we will celebrate and honor with this revitalization plan,” said Wesley Palms Executive Director Ben Geske.

The plan includes the latest technology and attention to sustainability, retaining and enhancing landscape features, reuse of foundational building materials, energy efficiency, low water usage and green building materials.

The revitalization plan was honored this year with a Gold Best of 55+ Housing Award from the National Association of Home Builders.

Wi-Fi, emergency response systems and CCTV are located in each residence and in the common spaces. CCTV is used for security and for in-house programming and information.

Salons and Other Services

The predecessor to Seacrest Village was founded in 1944 as the San Diego Hebrew Homes.

Now, with campuses in Encinitas and Rancho Bernardo, Seacrest Village has become an example of resort-style settings with many amenities.

“Our goal is to continue providing a broad range of options for our aging demographic,” said Seacrest President and CEO Pam Ferris.

“We are extremely proud of our beautiful multi-level of care campus that provides a variety of physical, intellectual and social opportunities critical for successful aging. We have also incorporated community and home-based services, such as in-home care and adult day services as additional options that will enable individuals to remain safe and comfortable at home.”

The larger campus in Encinitas features Craig’s Juice Bar and Mel’s Place coffeehouse, as well as an event center, performing arts stages, lounges, a beauty salon, internet lounge and many other avenues for socializing and activities.

Many of the spacious apartments feature granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, washers and dryers, large view windows and walk-in closets.

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