Humphreys & Partners Launches New Design for Seniors Housing that Can be Financed Now

Dallas—Humphreys & Partners Architects recently launched a new senior housing community design, e-Senior(SM).

The high-density prototype is a two-story elevatored building that incorporates independent living on one side of the site and assisted living with some memory care on the other side, explains Greg Faulkner, president of Humphreys & Partners.

The e-Senior(SM) design is a derivative of the firm’s e-Urban® design, Faulkner tells MHN. “We needed to come up with a building that was a much more efficient mousetrap, which we did with e-Urban®. When we created it, it was up to 86 percent efficient net-to-gross versus 65 to 70 percent efficient—so it’s much more economic to build and operate—but it was also 44 units per acre so it bridged the gap between a garden apartment and having to do an expensive garage. It was economically driven to make projects work.”

The new design, for the independent living residences, allows for up to 34 units per acre for two-story buildings, 42 units per acre for three-story buildings and 53 units per acre for four-story buildings.

These senior deals are smaller projects in nature that require less land, so they have lower equity requirements, notes Faulkner. “Developers will have more opportunities to implement the design on smaller sites that may be near medical facilities and that are located in more core areas,” rather than in the suburbs.

The prototype offers 550- to 830-square-foot independent living units—the majority of which are one-bedrooms, with some two-bedrooms. Assisted living units range in size from 300 to 380 square feet, on average.

Given the difficulty of financing projects today, the new product is designed to qualify for the HUD 232 LEAN program and HUD 221(d)4 financing through MAP (Multifamily Accelerated Processing) lenders.

“It’s a general 10 to 15 percent equity requirement, 40-year non-recourse loan,” Faulkner explains. “It takes a little time [to do the paperwork], there are some issues with general contractors with HUD; and, in some markets, you are affected by Davis Bacon wages—with all of this said, this is the only vehicle on the planet for conventional and senior [apartments] that you can get your construction financing and permanent financing all rolled into one, which is why so many people are going this route. And it’s a lower equity route.”

Since the announcement of the new design just last week, the firm has received several hundred responses from developers interested in learning more about the program, notes Faulkner. “It seems like with the population aging, it will continue to be a good niche for us and a lot of developers,” he adds. “We are trying to come up with really efficient buildings and come up with products no one else has to help our developers beat the competition.”

However, despite the fact that the design is a direct response to current market conditions, it can also be implemented once the economy recovers since it can be financed with conventional loans as well, Faulkner adds.

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