Senior living owner, developer and operator Tradition Senior Living is growing with a strategy centered on high-end communities for older adults, including a forthcoming highrise in Houston with resort-style amenities and views of the surrounding city.
That highrise — a 314-unit, 23-story rental development called the Tradition-Woodway — will serve independent living, assisted living and memory care residents and offer upscale amenities such as restaurant-style dining venues, a movie theater, an indoor golf simulator, a dog park and a physical therapy center equipped with an underwater treadmill.
If all goes according to plan, Tradition-Woodway will open next spring. Dallas-based Tradition has two other communities in Dallas and another in Houston. The company is also developing a community in Fort Worth, Texas.
On the whole, the provider is focused on opening high-end senior living communities in urban markets, according to President and CEO Jonathan Perlman, Sr.
“We’ve worked hard to develop our home base and create the most efficient operation and strategies,” Perlman told Senior Housing News. “We think our Houston locations are fantastic for what we do, and we’re looking at duplicating those locations.”
But that doesn’t necessarily mean highrises. While the model is one that many other senior living providers are adapting for their own means, Tradition is more opportunistic in how it builds each of its communities.
“Land is very hard to find for locations like [Tradition-Woodway],” Perlman said. “So, it necessitated going highrise.”
Part of the provider’s strategy lies in attracting older adults who may not otherwise choose to move into a senior living community.
“We want to create the spaces that our residents need and to overcome the objections of moving out of their homes,” Perlman said. “In today’s world, the penetration rates are still pretty low.”
Home field advantage
Perlman has worked throughout senior living for the past 22 years, but his original calling wasn’t this industry at all — it was professional baseball. In 1985, he played for the Chicago Cubs as a pitcher. He also spent time with the San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians.
“I was a first-round pick of the Cubs,” Perlman said. “I played professional baseball for 10 years.”
And while he’s not throwing as many fastballs as he once did, Perlman still applies some of what he learned in the major leagues to the way he runs his company today.
“We compare ourselves to sports teams in that we try to be repetitive in what we do and create expectations and keep duplicating it,” he said. “Any good team has good chemistry … and we try to build a culture with good chemistry and teamwork.”
Looking ahead, the provider will continue to focus on developing in the Lone Star State, where new supply has driven down senior living occupancy in some of the state’s markets. Houston, for example, saw an occupancy rate of just 77.1% for the first quarter of 2019, the lowest among the U.S. markets tracked by NIC.
Still, Tradition believes it can succeed by playing to the home crowd.
“We’re marketing locally, and Texans like Texans,” Perlman said. “We play that to our home field advantage.”
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