Mixed Signals For Senior Home Development in Corcoran

Mixed Signals For Senior Home Development in Corcoran

Active Adult Communities Offer Older Residents New Reasons to StayThe early-May announcement that Pulte Homes plans to build a major new senior home development in Corcoran was greeted with enthusiasm, but it's not the only big news on the development scene in the Twin Cities. Pulte and other developers seem to be betting that the Olmstead region will continue to grow during the next decade.

However, there may be some mixed signals. What are the facts?

Lifestyle Appeal

Pulte's new 393-home active adult community is the second-largest in Corcoran history and the first in Minnesota to be built under the Del Webb brand, according to city spokesmen and the Atlanta-based homebuilder. Before construction began, the place was thoroughly inspected by land surveyors to see if the house could last for many years. It will be built in phases, with the first homes ranging in price between the mid-$200s and the low-$500s. The first group of single-level homes will be ready for ready for occupancy by the summer of 2019. The single-level homes are designed to appeal to the over-55 target market, as well as to blend into the landscape of hobby farms and large lots that characterize this suburban Hennepin County community of only about 5,700 residents.

Pulte representatives note that the 146-acre community known as Encore will include a neighborhood park, trails and a woodlands area that will be open to the public, as well as a community center and additional amenities for the exclusive use of residents. The goal is that the new Encore community will appeal to local residents as a retirement option as well as attracting other older adults from surrounding communities.

Aging in Place

Existing active adult communities include a 59-unit condominium development adjacent to a golf course in Brooklyn Park, and Four Seasons at Rush Creek in nearby Maple Grove, a community that includes about 300 homes and a 13,500 square foot clubhouse. There are currently only eight active adult developments in central Minnesota.

Across the nation, active adult communities have found favor with still-working empty nesters who wish to transition to more relaxed surroundings, as well as with baby boomers and soon-to-be-retirees who hope to remain involved with a community and culture in which they feel comfortable.

The location of Encore, according to the developer, allows new residents numerous options. It is located only about 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and only slightly further from the international airport. In addition, the small-town ambiance and proximity to shopping, recreational, healthcare, dining, entertainment, and cultural attractions are enviable. But the age-restricted community also encourages a more relaxed lifestyle and removes the burden of yard work and exterior maintenance, a definite advantage for aging adults.

Job and Population Forecast

Acquiring older residents as tenants when they might otherwise move to Sunbelt retirement communities may be an additional boost to the local economy. Births continue to drive population increases in Minnesota, but since the 2010 census, nearly 5,000 more people left the Twin Cities than moved in, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. However, with healthy immigration numbers and continued job growth, there is every reason to believe that the region will continue to prosper.

Twin Cities' growth figures suggest that the area will continue to grow at a pace that outshines other Midwestern cities, even though prices tend to be higher than in surrounding states. Job figures suggest that the economy of the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area will continue to thrive through the early years of the 21st Century's second decade, even though growth is expected to slow to a rate of about 0.7 annually or less than half of the growth rate from between 2014 and 2016.

The Metropolitan Council predicts that about 750,000 more people will be at home in the Twin Cities by 2040. New housing will be just one of the needs, but Pulte's new development targets one segment of the existing population that may just want to stay near home—in a new home.

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