December 8, 2023

Retirement Communities

Retiring in Style: Trends in Florida retirement living

Senior developments are springing up in downtowns around Florida.

Doreen Hemlock | 5/29/2018

Learning Environment

Oak Hammock comes with university benefits

Two decades ago, then-UF President John Lombardi decided that UF should develop a campus-based retirement community that would provide both a robust educational opportunity for retirees and an active living style.

That vision led to the 2004 opening of Oak Hammock, a nonprofit organization sponsored but not owned by UF.

The affiliation offers residents access to university cultural activities and sporting events. More significant, the university offers residents 35 to 45 classes each semester, says Oak Hammock President Jeff Hagen. “If you talk to residents, that’s probably the most significant activity that brought them here,” he says.

Hagen says only about 30% to 40% of residents are UF alums. Others include former faculty members or people with children attending UF. About a third come from outside of the state.

Hagen says residents pay an entrance fee of $179,000 to $650,000, depending on the residence. Monthly fees after that range from $1,900 to $7,400. “It’s an insurance policy that you’re buying,” he says.

Residents have to be 55 or older. The continuing care community offers assisted living and nursing as residents age. Hagen says Oak Hammock has about 500 residents in 269 independent homes, 70 assisted living and 73 skilled nursing units.

— Mark Basch

Teeing Off on Senior Housing

A South Florida developer finds similarities between older buyers and Millennials.

As Tamarac-based home builder 13th Floor Homes researched the active adult housing market, it found an intriguing parallel. What those buyers desired in new housing mirrored what Millennials and other young buyers wanted, too.

13th Floor is in the planning stages on two 55-plus projects in Delray Beach, Avalon Trails and Delray Trails, totaling 957 single-family, townhouse and multifamily rental residences. Homes will start in the low $300,000s, an “attainable” price point for newly constructed homes in Southeast Florida, says Michael Nunziata, president of 13th Floor Homes.

The 55-plus buyers, they found, want walking trails, dog parks, fitness centers with spaces carved out for yoga or spinning, personal trainers, cafes and a social life. “Really not that far off from what we were doing” for young buyers, Nunziata says. There are distinctions.

A game room for older buyers means cards; for younger buyers it might be video games. The older market, more than the younger market, wants intensive social programming and a social director.

The two age groups face the same housing mismatch: Lots of demand and little supply for attainably priced housing in land-constrained Southeast Florida. “If we can deliver attainable product, we see it fly off the shelves,” Nunziata says.

13th Floor, like other builders, has found land by buying financially struggling or failed golf courses, which are in oversupply in Southeast Florida. The region has more than 170 golf courses. The two 13th Floor projects in Delray will replace 18-hole courses.

— MIke Vogel


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