Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
A $26 million independent-living apartment building for seniors, scheduled to break ground in March, is the
latest ingredient to the redevelopment recipe at the 58-acre Santa Monica Place, formerly a mobile home park northeast of the San Antonio NE and Interstate 25 interchange.
Lincoln, Neb.-based Resort Lifestyle Communities, whose name describes its business, is in the process of getting the various government approvals to build the three-story, 180,000-square-foot building with 130 upscale apartments on 8.5 acres, said company vice president for development Josh Thornton.
“Our project is a cruise ship on land, if you will,” he told the Journal. “The amenities are all inclusive in the monthly rental charge.”
Called Coronado Villa and with a tentatively scheduled opening in October 2016, the project joins the 280-unit Broadstone Santa Monica apartments, completed in November, and the 180-unit Broadstone Promenade, currently under construction at 6401 Santa Monica NE, between San Pedro and Louisiana.
Also scheduled to break ground by the end of the year is Elan-Santa Monica, an upscale, 110-unit assisted-living facility for seniors planned by Titan Senior Living, a joint venture of Albuquerque’s Titan Development and Des Moines, Iowa-based LCS, short for Life Care Services.
“The recipe is attractive to a diverse group of renters, from first-time millennial renters to seniors,” said Titan Development President Drew Dolan. “The success is in building an ‘A’ product at an ‘A’ location at a price point that’s in line with the market.”
The remaining 20 acres of developable land will be used for about 150 single family, for-sale houses, both attached and detached, Dolan said. The entire site is now called Santa Monica Place, a brand name that should be useful in marketing the final single family phase, he said.
Resort Lifestyle Communities has 10 operating properties, plus another eight in some phase of development and construction, and an additional 15 going through various approval processes. The company is vertically integrated, meaning it locates, develops and operates its properties.
“We’re long-term operators,” Thornton said. “We’ll be part of the (Albuquerque) community for an indefinite period of time.”
Based on an analysis of Albuquerque’s demographics, development costs and competition in independent-living senior housing, RLC has had the metro under consideration for seven to eight years.
“We found it challenging to find a piece of land suitable for our use,” Thornton said. “We’re excited to finally be able to bring a project to market.”
The target market for Coronado Villa and other RLC properties is seniors aged 75 and over – the average age of residents is about 80 – and their children who are involved in housing decisions. The backgrounds of residents vary widely, Thornton said.
The company’s marketing material spells out the comparison to cruise ship living. Its most popular amenity is a flexible eating plan called Freedom Dining, whose options range from fine dining to grab-and-go snacks. The properties have live-in managers, “lifestyle” directors who organize activities, housekeepers and concierges.
“It’s a customer service-oriented lifestyle,” Thornton said.
Resort Lifestyle Communities have some studio and three-bedroom units, but are mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments. Monthly prices vary, depending on market fundamentals. The range for studios is generally around $2,750-$3,000 monthly, all-inclusive; a one-bedroom is $3,250-$3,500; a two-bedroom is $3,500-$3,700, and a three-bedroom $4,200-$4,500.
With the groundbreaking later this year on Coronado Villa and Elan-Santa Monica, Santa Monica Place will have logged more than $75 million worth of construction activity on what was once the Del Rey Mobile Home Park, which opened in the spring of 1973 with spaces for 407 mobile homes.
An investment group with ties to Titan Development bought the property in 2007 with the intention of revitalizing the site with new housing. Titan is spearheading the process.
The 280-unit Broadstone Santa Monica, which was recently sold to Olympus Property of Pantego, Texas, was built in 2012-14 by a joint venture of Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Co. and Titan Development. The property consists of 27 buildings with 291,000 square feet of space on 14 acres.
“Olympus has watched Albuquerque for years and is thrilled to be entering the market with the acquisition of a premier property in such a strong location,” said Olympus acquisitions director Michael Silberman in an email.
Broadstone is the brand name for an upscale apartment concept operated by Alliance, one of the top apartment developers and management companies in the country. Alliance, in one form or another, has been active in Albuquerque for more than 25 years. The company website says it manages six apartment complexes in the metro with a seventh, Broadstone Cottonwood, opening soon.
The 180-unit Broadstone Promenade project, which is also a joint venture between Alliance and Titan, will consist of 19 buildings with 179,853 square feet of space on 9.2 acres. Promenade includes 60 townhouses and 12 carriage units, which are basically second-story apartments built above garages.
“More than a third of Promenade will be a different product type than has been built over the last 10 years,” Dolan said.
Promenade will operate as a standalone property, unrelated to Broadstone Santa Monica. The first units are expected to be ready this summer.
Dolan described both the Santa Monica and Promenade projects as a “suburban product” with larger apartments, more than half of which are two-bedroom. Based on the combined number of bedrooms, the two properties have the capacity to be home to 530 people.