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Taking Your Senior Living Facility from Concept to Completion

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Evaluating your market, site and program offerings

If you are considering building a new senior living facility, launching an extensive master planning process will help ensure your project gets off the ground smoothly, stays on budget and reaches completion on time. Community Living Solutions prides itself on being as much of a master planning firm as it is an architectural or construction firm.

To help you with your facility planning, we’d like to share our process to bring our clients’ vision to fruition.

Kickoff to facility planning

Generally, when building a new facility, the timeline from the planning kickoff meeting to building occupancy is approximately two and a half years. We start with an initial concept meeting and follow that up immediately with ordering a market evaluation.

The market evaluation

Market evaluations help ensure your market will support the services and care you plan to provide in your new facility. The market study should take into account the full continuum of care you are planning for your facility—independent living, assisted living, long-term care and rehabilitation services. When conducting a market study, we focus on the following attributes:

  • The market area. What is the physical area you will be serving, and how many senior living community competitors are in this market area?
  • Age and income analysis. This data tells you whether your market area can support your facility today and in the future, especially in relation to the number of competitors you identify.
  • Demand and competition summary. Data exists to tell you whether your market area has unmet demand or excess demand for each type of senior living community.

Analyzing each of these areas will provide you with the data needed to determine whether you are, indeed, filling a need in your market and will help you determine capacity levels once the building is complete.

Site evaluation and selection

Choosing a site for your new facility takes into account both socioeconomic and physical considerations. When helping clients choose a site, we evaluate:

  • Available locations within the market area
  • Labor market conditions to ensure you can meet needed staffing levels
  • Accessibility to the site
  • Environmental conditions, both aesthetic and condition of the site
  • Topography to help determine whether we will face challenges in the construction phase
  • Receptivity of the municipality where the facility will locate, as well as any financial assistance the municipality may have to offer
  • Costs, including municipal and development costs
Program and service offering evaluation

Before we begin designing your new senior living facility, we like to know what programs and services you plan to provide. This will help us design a community that allows your staff to work efficiently while providing the best care and comfort for your residents. It also helps ensure we construct a facility that will fit your needs today and for many years to come. Answering the following questions will help you determine your program and service offerings:

  • What are the future market conditions?
  • What will your residents require and want in the future?
  • What will you need to do to compete with other local facilities at all levels of care?
  • How will the increase in acuity affect your delivery of care?
  • What is the strength of your referring hospital?
  • How will things like bundle payments, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and alternate payment sources affect you?

As part of this evaluation, it’s also best to determine the ROI of your services. Here are questions to help guide you through the process:

  • Will the new facility require you to increase your staff counts?
  • Will you need to hire a nurse practitioner or a doctor?
  • Will the services be revenue generators?
  • Will you improve quality of care?
  • Will you improve your residents’ quality of life?
  • Will your services increase referrals and admissions?

At this point in the building master plan process, we stop to review the feasibility of constructing a new senior living community. During this five- to six-month process, we’ve conducted a market evaluation, analyzed available sites and their cost, and determined program and service needs. If we find the market can bear a new facility and more services, and we have a feasible site or sites to choose, we will give the green light to move to the next steps in the master planning process.

In our next blog, we discuss how we bring building concepts to life with conceptual master plan designs and solutions, as well as how we assist clients in securing financing for the new facility.


If you are interested in learning about our senior living facility master planning, architecture and construction services, contact us or call 920-969-9344 for a complimentary get-to-know-you meeting.