4 Tips for Building Active Adult Housing Communities from a Real Estate Developer

Welcome to the forefront of innovation in seniors housing, where Avenue Development’s dedication and passion have given rise to Viva Bene—a 55-plus active adult product that redefines the possibilities for senior living communities. With a rich history of crafting seniors housing solutions tailored to the unique needs of older adults, Avenue’s commitment to the industry goes beyond the professional realm as it is deeply rooted in the fabric of the team.

Hear from Avenue’s Senior Vice President of Development, Matt Kwapis, as he shares four tips for building 55+ active adult communities from a real estate developer perspective.

Viva Bene: Innovative Product for Active Adults

Avenue Development is a boutique real estate development firm with a primary focus on senior housing. We have a rich history of involvement in seniors housing, including medical offices and primary care clinics tailored to the senior population. 

Our commitment to this field is displayed through the latest venture, the launch of Viva Bene developments. We aim to leverage our team’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in seniors housing to create something truly exceptional for the next generation of aging adults. The goal is to introduce an innovative product to the market, making a meaningful impact on this demographic.


Demographic Analysis and Market Assessment

We approach demographics in a specific way, identifying the right market fit and the appropriate individuals who have an interest and a need for this type of product. Our strategy involves a comprehensive examination of all available demographic data. Simultaneously, we closely analyze the current senior living landscape within each market to gauge the acceptance of senior living as a product.

With the data that our partners like Sevi Health bring to the table, we’re able to find the right opportunities to build a successful project. With our collective wealth of development experience, including seniors housing and multifamily projects, we are well-equipped to navigate the industry. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that 55 plus active adult living stands apart presenting unique challenges and opportunities.

This entirely new product category, which combines the best aspects of senior living with the desirable features and flexibility found in multifamily housing, represents a unique blend. It’s important to stress that when working on such communities, we must set aside our preconceived notions about both senior living and multifamily housing. The residents of Viva Bene will differ significantly from residents who are living in traditional senior living communities. Understanding their distinct desires and needs is paramount. Our goal is to meet 

these requirements in a fresh and innovative manner, creating an environment where residents can not only age gracefully but also continue working, thriving, and maintaining their well-being. Here are four key tips for developing successful active adult communities:

4 Tips for Building Active Adult Housing Communities from a Real Estate Developer

1. Design Flexibility and Amenities

In the approach with Viva Bene and active adult living, amenities play a crucial role, much like in traditional seniors housing. However, what sets us apart is our commitment to openness and flexibility when it comes to these programs.

In traditional seniors housing, there’s typically an operator with a well-defined program, and spaces are intentionally designed to align with that program’s heart and essence, ensuring daily delivery to the residents. With Viva Bene, while we recognize the continued significance of amenities, the approach is with a different perspective. We acknowledge that we cannot predict how residents will embrace and utilize these spaces. Therefore, we aim to provide residents with the freedom and flexibility to shape the community and utilize the amenities as they wish. 

“The resident who is going to live in Viva Bene is going to be completely different than the resident in a traditional senior living community.”

– Matt Kwapis

Creating adaptable amenities that can evolve with the residents’ preferences over time is tremendously important. This flexibility is a part of the success of the overall development and community. In the realm of active adult living, there’s a notable distinction from traditional seniors housing. Many of our residents will continue to work and actively participate in the community. Therefore, driving will remain a significant part of their lives. That is why the inclusion of features like garages and ample storage becomes essential. Addressing these needs is a key consideration in our product development process. These thoughtful touches are vital to crafting a product that genuinely aligns with their requirements and lifestyles.

As we progress in the development of the Viva Bene brand, one thing has become abundantly clear: we must maintain an openness to adapt our thought process and redesign as needed. It is a continuous learning curve, and that’s precisely what makes this journey so exciting.

Embracing this dynamic nature of the project is essential. Approaching the project with flexibility is our guiding principle. Collaborating with partners who share our willingness to be open-minded is crucial. We’re all on this learning journey together, and as a collective effort, we’re shaping an exciting and evolving product. This adaptability is a key aspect of our commitment to creating a thriving and dynamic environment for our residents.

Fitness center at a Viva Bene active adult community.

2. Programming

One of the interesting components of the programming for Viva Bene communities is a deliberate emphasis on wellness. This focus is a fundamental part of the design process. Our ultimate aim is to create a community where residents can age in place, receive necessary healthcare oversight, and yet continue to lead fulfilling lives, which include work and leisure activities.

We are intentional about designing spaces that can adapt to residents’ changing needs as they progress through various life stages. The idea is to provide a supportive environment that allows residents to make the most of the wellness programs developed by Viva Bene throughout their aging journey. This holistic approach to well-being is a key element of our vision.


3. Operational Design

While we may not offer the same levels of care as one might find in a traditional senior living setting, it’s essential to highlight that we are designing our community to operate in a safe and nurturing environment for residents at Viva Bene.

Our objective is to incorporate the best practices found in senior living as well as hospitality and multifamily sectors. Avenue is uniquely positioned to achieve this, because of our extensive experience in all these areas, including medical services. We believe that many of the innovations occurring in the medical field have direct applications in the realm of active adult living, and we’re excited to bring these insights to the forefront with Viva Bene.

Learn more about WellVB, powered by Sevi Health.

4. Personal Approach to Healthcare

Our primary excitement lies in introducing a personalized approach to the healthcare journey for residents. Whether they are managing a chronic medical condition or simply aiming to be proactive about their health as they age, we are empowering them to take charge of their well-being right within the comfort of their own home.

Having a medical clinic within our Viva Bene property will offer every individual the opportunity and choice to personalize their medical journey. Personalized healthcare allows them to cultivate a meaningful relationship with their primary care provider and access the assistance they require, all within the community. This healthcare model prioritizes individual needs and preferences, reinforcing our commitment to resident-centric care.

Viva Bene represents a pioneering opportunity in the field of seniors housing. It marks the next evolution in the continuum of care, as we have a unique chance to shape its trajectory and establish the gold standard for years to come. Our team, carefully assembled for this project, brings together a wealth of best practices, knowledge, and years of experience from our work in senior housing. Our desire with Viva Bene is to harness this insight and expertise and translate it into a groundbreaking community that redefines the future of senior living.


Connect With Us