David Kliewer
David Kliewer, Cushman & Wakefield

To meet the anticipated demand from baby boomers, senior housing developers should focus on increasing the average unit size in their projects and adding a greater number of amenities. That’s according to several principal members of commercial real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield’s Tampa, FL-based senior housing team. They shared their views on the future of the industry last week in the Business Observer.

 “We believe occupancy will continue to fall in the short-term, but that when the baby boomers begin to look to senior housing in earnest the industry will be in a great place,” the firm’s David Kliewer told the publication. He added that in addition to larger units and more amenities, senior housing projects that provide a continuum of care, allowing for independent living, assisted living and memory care units, will be most attractive to both residents and their families.

Kliewer and colleague Jay Jordan also expect urban infill projects to gain in popularity among seniors as well, due to their close proximity to existing cultural and civic amenities. 

“We see a lot more townhomes being layered into senior housing campuses, with access to meals and amenities,” Jordan said, adding that independent living residents likely will lead more active lifestyles than in generations past. 

As a result, Kliewer noted, the burdens and costs of aging-in-place will keep demand for senior housing high.

“When you take everything into account, senior housing makes financial sense,” he said.