Entrepreneurs have been targeting the buying power of the Baby Boomer generation for decades, and now that’s taking the form of luxury assisted living. Retirement communities are becoming more like high-end hotels, with spa services, fine dining, and progressive programs that allow for prolonged independence.
Hines and Welltower—an international real estate firm and a the largest healthcare REIT in the US—are banking on this appeal with their recent purchase of 139 E. 56th Street, just a few blocks from Billionaire’s Row. The partnership plans to demolish the current building, which houses a TGI Friday’s, to make way for their 15-story senior living community with retail at the base (likely not including a TGI Friday’s). Bloomberg calls it “The One57 of Assisted Living,” but details on the building’s amenities are still in the works.
The price tag to take up residence in the coming building at Lexington and 56th? $20,000 a month. Welltower CEO Thomas DeRosa reasons that the cost is in line with living in Manhattan with a full-time caregiver, and many New Yorkers are willing to pay a premium to stay in the neighborhood rather than be carted away to the suburbs, far away from family and friends. DeRosa, a native New Yorker, told Bloomberg, ““I want to take these people out of the shadows. I want you to see them. These are people who should be living where the vibrancy of this city congregates.” Likely, many already do. Aging Park Avenue neighbors are exactly the population Hines and Welltower intend to appeal to.