Balfour Beatty Named Construction Manager For $60 Million Luxury Senior Living Community

Big Rock Partners, a national real estate investment management and development firm, has selected Balfour Beatty Construction as construction manager for a resort-style, $60 million senior living rental community under development in Celebration.  

“With this innovative, complex development, we’re working to set a higher standard for luxury and hospitality in a caring, senior living setting that enables residents to stay involved in the wider Celebration community,” said Big Rock Partners’ Senior Managing Principal Richard Ackerman.

“Balfour Beatty’s deep roots in Central Florida and specialized hospitality experience include over 30,000 hotel rooms in the Central Florida market with clients such as Disney, Marriott International, Peabody Hotel Group, Universal and Loews. This portfolio makes them an ideal addition to the best-in-class design, construction and operational team we’ve assembled.”

According to Mac Hoenicke, Balfour Beatty Construction project executive, his firm is working closely from the conceptual phase with the project’s architect, global firm Gensler, which is at the forefront of hospitality and healthcare design worldwide. America’s third largest senior living management company, Life Care Services™, an LCS® company, will operate and market the community.  Finance advisor is Walker & Dunlop. Big Rock Partners - Celebration senior living communityThe new community will be Celebration’s first to offer independent living, assisted living and memory care services, with a total of 225 rental residences and an array of first class amenities. Construction is projected to begin in late 2015 for opening in mid 2017. The nine-acre site is the only parcel within Celebration planned for senior housing development.  Sabra Health Care REIT provided Big Rock Partners with $4.5 million financing for the land and anticipates providing additional financing for construction, according to Ackerman.  

“Big Rock Partners intends to break the mold with this senior living development,” Hoenicke explained. “The goal is to create a five-star hospitality experience for all residents, while providing the supportive environment that meets their individual care needs. The new community’s high-end finishes and amenities will be unique in Central Florida’s senior living for-rent market,” he added.

Evoking famed Florida resort environments such as The Breakers and The Biltmore, the building’s Classic architecture will fit its Celebration context while making an innovative design statement.  

“From its boulevard entry and tree-lined fountains to the high-volume lobby with views of formal gardens, the feel will be gracious, livable and active,” said Gensler Design Director Tom Sze. “Visible from I-4, the building will have landmark presence, yet residential scale, and the four-to-six story plan enables us to create light, airy spaces seldom found in typical low-rise senior living communities.”

Among appealing focal points, Sze said, will be the indoor pool, movie screening room, fitness center and top-floor solarium for viewing Disney World fireworks displays. Advanced operating systems and green building principles will ensure the community is highly efficient and sustainable.  Fully integrated climate control and lighting systems will “communicate with each other” to reduce power consumption while ensuring residents’ comfort. The community of Celebration just southwest of Orlando is a prime location for this emerging type of upscale senior living community, Ackerman said.  Developed by The Walt Disney Company, Celebration has, since its founding in the mid-1990s, gained worldwide recognition as a highly successful example of New Urbanism principles, with diverse housing types for residents of all ages.  New, $50 million and up rental senior living developments with choice locations and resort-style amenities are rare in Florida, but are increasingly popular with consumers and institutional investors, Ackerman said.  Big Rock Partners has additional senior living rental communities under development throughout the Southeast, including a $25 million community in Port Royal, South Carolina near Hilton Head Island. The firm purchased a site in Palm Beach County, Fla. earlier this year and is actively pursuing other “Class A” sites.


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