In March of 2021, Concord Development Partners along with developing and purchasing partners announced the groundbreaking of a new, state-of-the-art 166,00-square-foot senior living facility in Mission Viejo. The three-acre site will include 132 units for independent living, assisted living, and memory care. The Orange County development epitomizes the CDP development approach.
We’re committed to creating high-end senior housing that intertwines with and serves the greater community. You may be wondering what’s the value of building this kind of community in a busy part of the town on a major thoroughfare. Let’s use Mission Viejo as an example and learn more about our approach, what makes us unique, and why our strategy is a winning strategy.
In this article you’ll learn about:
The CDP Development Approach to Site Selection
Our multi-step site selection process differs from what some investors or operators may be used to. This critical step is the launching point on any new development pursuits and ensures the satisfaction of all stakeholders before proceeding. The Mission Viejo project typifies our usual investment process and the CDP development approach. Let’s break it down.
First, we look at the entire market as a whole. In this case, our primary focus was certain cities in Orange County. We started out by analyzing several select cities which met our demographic profile and narrowed down city selection based on a number of proprietary variables. In addition, we study competition: proposed competition, existing competition, and the age of existing competition.
Once complete, we ran an in-depth analysis with over 24 criteria that results in our internal analysis for the area..
Fortunately, the analysis looked promising, so it was on to a deep dive researching:
- The local political landscape
- Surrounding businesses and amenities
And, perhaps most importantly, the overall area and how a new facility could attract new residents from adjacent cities and elevate life for the existing seniors of Mission Viejo.
When evaluating the competition, we study:
- What levels of care were available nearby?
- Were there adequate independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities?
- What was the current unit mix?
- What programming was available?
After we researched these factors, we did further analysis and plugged all of this information into our proprietary site analysis program. This helped us determine if it was a go or no-go situation.
Once we made it this far, it was time to come up with the initial details of our development plan. We planned a building based on known development standards. Next, we built out the full financial model – unit mix, rate, and expenses. We engaged in conversations with the owners and presented an offer. Great news! They accepted and it was on to the purchase agreement.
Challenges and How We Overcome Them
Of course, any time you look at a new market and potential site you have to be prepared for a few bumps along the way. For example, the pushback could come from local government or residents. It’s important to get buy-in from the local community in order to head off any reluctance from the locals. We always meet with area homeowners’ associations, planning and zoning officials, and city council before officially beginning a project.
This project didn’t encounter any opposition from the local community. As a matter of fact, they provided letters of support to the Planning Commission and spoke in our favor at the City Council meeting.
We can chalk up their enthusiasm to our pre-planning. Under existing zoning guidelines, we were not required to meet with local HOAs. But, CDP comes into every project with the expectation that our facility will be intertwined with the community. We wanted to let the neighbors know what was coming. It’s a prime example of how our transparency pays off.
Fortunately for us, dealing with the Planning Department, Planning and Zoning Commission, and City Council proved to be more of an opportunity to educate than a hurdle to overcome. Senior housing options have changed in the past decades, and many local zoning codes haven’t kept up with the changes. For example, zoning codes typically categorize our facilities as nursing homes or congregant care facilities. In this instance, there had been no senior housing development in the area in 20 years. Unfortunately, in some cities, there’s a stigma attached to senior housing and they’re relegated to the outskirts of town.
It was up to us to let them know what our facilities are all about. We informed them of the types of residents we have and how our facility integrates into the community. We worked together to create an architectural and landscaping style that blended seamlessly into the existing businesses on a major road.
Our job was to help them understand what CDP is truly delivering. We convinced them that this commercially zoned corridor’s highest, best use was senior housing and why it made sense here. More on that coming up. Which all leads us to location, location, location.
Why We Choose Urban Areas
Our main goals when developing senior housing are:
- Building a facility that is intertwined in the existing community
- Building a facility that will be there for a long time
- Providing a service to allow residents to stay in their own community as they age
- Create a high-end option that will also bring residents from adjacent communities
We believe high-density, urban locations are the future of senior living. So, we scout urban infill locations. It’s becoming harder to find suitable land that isn’t already slated for future development. That’s why this location, an obsolete office building that wasn’t serving the community, made perfect sense.
We looked beyond the current use and saw that the site met all of the CDP criteria.
Our philosophy is this: people were born and raised in Mission Viejo. Seniors should have an available option allowing them to stay in their own community near their family, rather than moving to another town that’s not convenient for anyone wanting to visit.
In fact, when families come to visit, they likely won’t stay in the facility for the entirety of their visit. For example, they’re going to shop, go to dinner at local restaurants, visit bookstores, or go to the movies. As a result, all of this activity supports local businesses and generates sales tax revenue for the local government.
How CDP Development Approach is Different
CDP bases our financial pro formas on sound underwriting assumptions based on what has worked for us in the past and what our lenders and investors expect from us. If the numbers don’t work, even if it’s the perfect site in the perfect location, we would not move forward.
We constantly re-evaluate as we learn more. We update our models to be sure that everything is still in check for us to proceed. It’s part of our total transparency methodology.
When we present investors with opportunities we can tell them we’ve done all the due diligence and then some.
Thoughtful real estate development starts here
In conclusion, our portfolio of development projects continues to expand with future development and acquisitions in the works. We partner with owners, operators, and investors to bring quality senior living, multi-family, and industrial developments to life.
Join the fun and partner with the team at Concord Development Partners to see the real value strategic real estate assets can add to your current portfolio.