The client: Graceworks Lutheran Services Vista Place
Bethany Village is a nationally accredited, faith-based continuing care retirement community (CCRC) owned by Graceworks Lutheran Services. On the campus is Vista Place, an 11-story independent living building constructed in the 1970s.
The challenge: Aging building “impossible” to reposition
Graceworks had been told by other real estate consultants that repositioning the aging building would be impossible due to structural engineering concerns and challenges of working vertically. Bond holders were worried that the project would not be financially feasible, further halting the process. Graceworks engaged Plante Moran Living Forward™ (PMLF) as a development advisor to help the organization envision the solution.
The solution: Creative solutions based on data-driven insights
To address the construction challenges, PMLF performed a conceptual design analysis that demonstrated how to relocate residents to one side of the building and renovate vertically without disruption. Renovating vertically and relocating residents would give way to elevator, lobby, and common space renovations and would allow space for manipulating concrete walls into large windows on the exterior.
After running a feasibility assessment, PMLF conducted a market study to determine if there was enough depth in the Dayton market to support repositioning Vista Place into a high-end, luxury independent living apartment building. The quantitative analysis supported the repositioning, but a pricing analysis of the area showed nothing directly comparable to an independent living entrance fee. Looking at other Ohio markets allowed PMLF consultants find comparable products from which to develop the monthly service fee. Then, to help Vista Place leaders validate the project concept, layout, service offerings, and proposed pricing, PMLF conducted focus groups with qualified prospects within the market area.
The benefit: Repositioned asset with strong market appeal
This thorough analysis was presented to the board, highlighting Graceworks’ cash and market position, and was met with approval. The repositioning program broke ground in 2020 and included updating the existing building to include 50 large studio-apartment units with large master suites, kitchen and dining spaces, in-unit laundry, and walk-in closets. PMLF helped manage approximately $10.2 million, 50,000 square feet of new construction and additions over three years as the owner’s representative. Close to 80% of units were presold before construction concluded.