An important part of building healthy places is making sure that there are healthy options for everyone in a community. There are many assisted living communities in the US but most of them are very expensive, with rents ranging from $3,000-$12,000 per month, and residents may not need all of the services provided by these communities as they age.
As a part of its Building Healthy Places Series, and The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Building Healthy Places Initiative, ULI Cleveland held a program that promoted developing healthy multifamily housing. The program highlighted Hummingbird Pointe, a Forest City Enterprises apartment building in Parma, Ohio. Forest City recognized that there were a significant number of 65+ year old homeowners in the marketplace who were primarily concerned with having access to and understanding healthcare, staying active and aging in place. The group started a two year process of designing a unique combination of Market Rate Apartment living with access to services not provided by any other competitor.
Vice President of Forest City Residential Group, Dave Conway, spoke to ULI Cleveland about the significant renovations and additions made to Hummingbird Pointe which include a LEED Silver Lifestyle and Wellness Facility and a saline water pool. Stephanie Jones, an activity coordinator for the group, shared how the space is programmed with a number of events to keep residents healthy both physically and mentally. With the seemingly endless numbers of activities and classes, residents have the opportunity to maximize the benefits of the state of the art facilities.
While the amenities and activities provide residents with significant value, the most attractive “amenity” for seniors is the access to unique healthcare. Infinity HealthCare provides onsite assistance to resident healthcare which allows these tenants to age in place and lead healthier lives. In one instance a resident was having a difficult time breathing at night and decided to stop by to see the nurse at the Wellness Center the next morning. The nurse suggested that she see a doctor and according to the resident “If they had not told me to go to the doctor, I would have never gone.” The doctor informed the resident that she had experienced a heart attack and began treatment that may have saved her life.
Both Rich Lobb and Matt Volansky, associated with Infinity HealthCare, shared with the ULI group their belief that this form of service, which promotes preventative care, is the future of the healthcare industry and that there will be significant opportunities in the future for groups to be reimbursed for this service. Dr. Volansky indicated that now is the time for developers to recognize the value of providing onsite care to their residents and to put the infrastructure and relationships in place to take advantage of the trend. He shared how Forest City and Infinity HealthCare’s relationship developed and how each was able to benefit from the partnership.
Forest City has recognized the value in their partnership with Infinity HealthCare and is currently constructing a new Wellness Center that will join two of its existing apartment buildings, Independence I and Independence II, both also located in Parma, Ohio. This center will include offices for Infinity HealthCare staff so that tenants in both buildings can utilize their services. ULI members were able to tour the existing Wellness Center as well as view renderings of the new center after a stimulating question and answer session with the program speakers.
Jared Oakes, who serves as the Chairman of ULI Cleveland and an advisory board member of ULI’s national Building Health Places initiative, applauds Forest City’s commitment to innovation in the development of projects with a direct focus on improving the health of its residents. “Projects like Hummingbird Pointe are further evidence that there is a growing demand in the United States, and in places like Cleveland, Ohio, for real estate projects that provide an opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle, and that there is true value to be unlocked by developers that meet this desire. We are proud to see Cleveland take one more step in its evolution from a healthcare city to a healthy city.”