The market for ultra-luxury condos may be cooling down, but developers appear to be much more optimistic about posh senior housing. Last year, 6sqft reported that Welltower Inc., the country’s largest senior housing owner by market value, had teamed up with Hines to develop the “One57 of Assisted Living,” an upscale facility at 56th Street and Lexington Avenue boasting $20,000/month rents. Now, it appears that the project is moving forward as Curbed tells us plans have been filed with the DOB to start construction.
The project will rise 17 stories at 677 Lexington Avenue, where there is currently a TGI Fridays on site. SLCE is the architecture firm heading up the design, which is a limestone/mason construction akin to the prewar structures that surround it. In all, there will be 151 units, a number with their own private terraces, and each modeled after the Park Avenue residences its clientele will likely hail.
Speaking about the development in 2016, Welltower Chief Executive Officer Thomas DeRosa offered up the motivation behind the market positioning: “You take someone who’s lived at 88th and Park their entire life and you, all of a sudden, say I’m moving you to New Canaan, Connecticut, because that’s the closest assisted-living facility I can get you into—that is unacceptable. You will kill that person.” He later went on to say, “This is a place where these people can be reminded of things in their past, potentially by the design of the building and by the location of the building and have a significantly better quality of life.”
Amenities at the high-rise will include a salon, gym, art room, landscaped plaza, and a shared terrace. There will also be retail at the base of the building and the project will encompass 135,689 square feet in total. As for the $20,000 monthly rent paid for by senior residents, this figure will include room, medical care, and food—none of which will be covered by insurance.
Welltower and Hines bought the two-parcel property in 2015 for $115 million. Welltower’s CEO DeRosa is confident in the project despite the steep price tag it will present to tenants. He said previously that there is a sizable population of Park Avenue residents that will want to move into the building when the time comes. “These are people who will have the income,” he said. “It will not be a hardship for them to pay for this.”
Tommy Craig, senior managing director at Hines, added in remarks to the Journal last year, “What we liked about this as an economic matter [is] it’s on a demographic curve and not an economic cycle.” Indeed, seniors now make up one of New York’s fastest growing populations with nearly 1.5 million aged 60 or over.
- Rendering Revealed of Midtown’s $20,000/Month Assisted Living Facility
- Seniors Increasingly Struggle to Find Housing, But Some Find Ways to Cope
- The ‘One57 of Assisted Living’ Will Charge Seniors $20,000 a Month