Driven by an aging population, demand for senior housing continues to increase across the country. For example, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker just signed a bill to develop a new skilled nursing facility in the state. The estimated cost is $80 million and these funds will be used to add a new 200-bed building to a facility that already serves more than 700 veterans. This is just a small example of steps that are being taken across the country by public and private sector entities to meet the growing demand for senior housing. Governor Walker’s bill signing in Wisconsin is an example of a state government taking action to meet increased demand, meanwhile in central Texas, private developers are spearheading the building of additional communities to meet the growing demand in that state.
In Cedar Park and Leander, Texas, developers are striving to meet increased demand for senior housing by building assisted-living and memory-care communities that will offer various levels of care in order to give seniors in the area multiple living options. Like the nation at large, the increased demand in the area is being fueled by demographic changes. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cedar Park’s share of seniors increased from 6.5% of the population in 2010, to 7.1% in 2012. Similarly in Leander, 5.4% of the population is 65 or older and 10.4% of households include someone who is older than 65. To meet the demand caused by these demographic shifts, developers in Cedar Park and Leander are building at least four senior housing communities and another community, a joint assisted living and memory care facility, is already scheduled to open in November. Leander’s City Council was instrumental in this, as it unanimously approved a change in the city’s zoning law so that one of these new facilities can be built next to an existing senior living facility. Meanwhile, just a few miles away in Cedar Park, the 75-bed memory care facility US Memory Care, is currently under construction and is scheduled to open later this year. Another facility, the 40-room community Sundance at Brushy Creek, is also under construction and is scheduled to open next fall. In addition to these facilities, the Avalon Cedar Park Memory Care facility is also under construction and is expected to open this August. Lastly, in addition to the changing demographics in the area, developers also believe that one of the reasons Cedar Park and Leander have seen a noticeable increase in demand for senior housing is the low cost of living in the area relative to other cities that are nearby.
This continued rapid pace of development in senior housing by both public and private sector actors demonstrates the robustness of the industry. As these demographic shifts continue and interest rates remain low, senior housing participants that are interested in obtaining inexpensive capital for development or other reasons should continue to look to the successful senior housing finance firm Cambridge Realty Capital for their financing needs.