new senior class: Boomers on campus
'University-linked retirement communities'
unite seniors, colleges
Other developers are getting involved, including the
Melrose Company, builder of resort communities, which is reportedly
entering into partnerships to build golf communities near college
campuses. The Hyatt Corp. recently opened a Classic Residence --
part of the company's high-end continuing-care chain -- in Palo
Alto, Calif., on 22 acres leased from Stanford University.
Rental options are so far rare, but Longview -- a community owned
and managed by a company known as Ithacare
-- offers its 101 independent living units for a $1,000 entry fee
and monthly rates ranging from $1,340 for a studio to $2,478 for
a two-bedroom apartment.
For those interested in getting in on lower pre-construction prices
at planned facilities, Ronald J. Manheimer, executive director of
the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at the University
of North Carolina, warns that some communities have had issues that
could cause problems for investors.
Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Indiana
University in Bloomington had to bring in private developers for
projects the schools were unable to complete, Manheimer says,
adding expenses and delays. He cited a project in Pennsylvania delayed
by zoning problems and a need for financial arrangements between
the college and developer that would protect the school if the residential
community ran into trouble.
None of these issues are unique to these developments. As with
any pre-construction purchase, buyers need to be wary of projects
that can't show evidence of a strong financial footing -- especially
at a time when construction costs are outpacing developers' cost
The other negative about ULRCs, says Manheimer, is
that monthly fees at most existing properties are prohibitive for
But optimism runs high among senior-living experts
who predict that options will expand in the future. ULRCs will have
considerable appeal to aging baby boomers, says Tsao. According
to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the over-65 population will
double in size from 35.6 million today to 71.5 million by 2030.
"The baby-boomer generation is qualitatively
different from previous generations," Tsao says. "This
growing group of healthy, active and better-educated older adults
with a diversity of experiences and life skills is expecting more
meaning and value in their retirement.
"College- and university-linked retirement communities
represent new models for retirement in which institutions of higher
learning, having traditionally been agents of social change, can
serve in a leadership role. They have the opportunity to respond
to the social challenge of mass longevity by creating an empowering
environment for older adults."