Ellicott City, Md.–Wood Partners opened the doors of Alta at Regency Crest, a new active-adult apartment property in Ellicott City, Md., just one month ago, and already, seniors seeking upscale rental accommodations are lining up for a peek.
Carrying the address of 3305 Oak West Dr. in Howard County, Regency Crest sits within close proximity of downtown Ellicott City and less than 15 miles west of Baltimore. Wood Partners built a $30 million project that it touts as the most luxurious active adult rental community in all of Howard County. “There are certain markets in the nation where there is a demand for upscale, active-adult apartments, and Howard County just happens to be one of those markets,” Scott Zimmerly, a Wood Partners director who spearheaded the development, tells MHN. “We know this because in 2008 our only competitor, which is nine miles from Regency Crest, was full, and it is still full to this day–with a waiting list.”
It is no coincidence that Howard County has a large and eager audience calling for lavish, age-restricted apartment accommodations. “Howard County is the third-wealthiest county in the nation based on median household income; therefore the standards of living are quite high and a high-end product is very well received,” he notes.
The four-story Regency Crest encompasses much more than 150 deluxe residences for those meeting the minimum age requirement of 62 years. It also offers a bevy of relatively extravagant amenities such as an elaborate wellness center that includes a manicure/pedicure salon and a state-of-the-art fitness center with a yoga room, top-of-the-line flat-screen televisions for any exercise performable with Wii, and a sizeable salt-water aquarium with exotic fish. “We put it in knowing people would find it soothing. We anticipated that the grandchildren would like it as well.”
The property also features a koi pond and a vast meditation garden with a 10-foot waterfall. Additionally, there is one highly desirable amenity that cannot be found elsewhere in Howard County–a therapeutic indoor salt-water pool with underwater lighting and surround-sound. And there are other extras that are perhaps not so luxurious, but most definitely coveted. Regency Crest provides 4,000 square feet of storage. “It’s more storage space than found at the typical rental product, so those who have recently sold their homes can keep many of their personal possessions onsite,” Zimmerly points out. The apartment community also offers a valet trash-collection service.
Wood Partners’ assessment of the independent-living rental market in Howard County appears to have been right on the money. “Demand has been extremely strong at Regency Crest, and it continues to be strong. We were 10 percent leased within the first 30 days, which is very, very strong for an active-adult rental.” It seems the property’s tenant roster will not collect dust. “There weren’t many active-adult or market-rate rentals built over the last two years, so there is pent-up demand,” he adds.
The outlook for the long term appears bright as well. According to the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning, the local population of 55-year-old-plus residents will increase from 19 percent to 31 percent over the next 25 years.