Granger Group starts $22.5M senior living facility at Metro Health


The new senior living facility on the grounds of Metro Health Village will feature 102 units. Courtesy Hobbs+Black Architects

An upscale senior living community is now under development in the Metro Health Village complex in Wyoming as a local company continues to redesign health and wellness real estate.

Granger Group, a real estate development and capital management company based in Wyoming, began construction on the $22.5 million asset-valued senior living facility on Thursday with a ceremonial groundbreaking and reception.

The 100,226-square-foot senior living community will have 102 living units, including 23 for independent living on the first floor, 56 for assisted living on the second and third floors, and 23 memory care units on the third floor. 

Incorporating a “main street design” concept, the new facility integrates health care, senior living, hospitality and retail to create a community environment and promote an active lifestyle.

Jason Granger, senior vice president of corporate development for Granger Group, said the senior living development will leave residents and visitors with the impression of strolling along a downtown boulevard.

“Our gathering spots are more focused on the activities and the community and the socializing that everyone needs as part of that healthy lifestyle,” said Granger. “We are trying to do some things that are very unique in the industry. There are some pretty critical components I think some other communities may not necessarily hit on.”

The Metro Health Village development will feature a café, healing gardens, an art studio, spa, therapy pool, fitness centers and a salon. Focusing on a high level of hospitality, Granger said staff will be there to meet the needs of patients, answer questions, consult and make sure they are receiving the care they require.

“Care is a very important piece of every assisted living community because that is the foundation of what makes this so necessary,” said Granger. 

“We try to do that maybe in a little bit different way. … Even though the average age is in the mid-80s, people still want to feel valued and feel like they are tied into the community. The wellness component of our program is probably going to be the biggest area of emphasis for us, because the two most important things for wellness and health are diet and exercise.”

The wellness program, hospitality and community engagement are part of the goal to support residents’ lifestyles, according to Granger. Several of the programs and services offered in the new development will incorporate third-party providers, such as hair stylists in the salon, bringing in health experts for diet and exercise training classes, and yoga and fitness instructors.

The Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse stated in an assisted living facilities research report that there is a rising trend of upscaling senior communities in terms of environment and services to remind residents of their own homes. 

The trend is a result of a segment of the baby boomer population — representing more than 70 percent of U.S. financial assets — that is currently looking at retirement communities, according to the report.

As a market rate provider, Granger Group offers residential unit leasing on a month-to-month basis rather than a typical continuing-care retirement community, or CCRC, model of an endowment structure, he said.

“The difference between that is CCRCs sell the fact you can age in place because they also have the skilled nursing component. That is one area we are not going to have as part of our communities,” said Granger. 

“It is a highly regulated area and there are several providers that do that very well in the marketplace, and we would look to them to become partners for us on the skilled nursing side in the event that a resident would need those types of services.”

Granger anticipates the facility will create 100 new jobs and generate approximately $2.5 million in annual wages, while providing secondary economic benefits in regard to health care services. Several of the health care-related products and services include durable medical equipment, pharmacy, physician, respiratory therapy, and nutrition and food service.

“We feel assisted living is going to become a critical component of the overall care model,” said Granger. “There is certainly a need in the industry. It is a very young industry — roughly about 30 years old — and the industry ranges from your small 20-unit, 30-unit care homes all the way up to the 400-, 500-resident continuum of care retirement community.”

IBIS World, an industry analysis and information provider, published a market research report in 2009 on retirement communities in the United States, estimating the annual growth of the industry to increase by 3.2 percent each year over a five-year period. The retirement community industry incorporates CCRC, independent living, assisted-living and related services. As the number of baby boomers who are retiring increases, the industry’s revenue growth is expected to accelerate from the estimated $57 billion in 2009, according to the report.

With experience partnering with health systems across the United States for more than 15 years and breaking ground on the 180-acre Metro Health Village back in 2003, Granger said one of the strengths of the company is having the ability to understand the needs of large health care organizations to adequately serve a community.

“Our focus is on the late-stage, independent and assisted living and memory care because we feel that, over the next 15-20 years as health care continues to evolve and we move into more of a bundled payment system, big health care organizations are going to be able to need to depend on providers like us that can provide a high level of care for people who need it,” said Granger.

With construction now underway, the new Metro Health senior living development is anticipated to be completed in 2015. Granger Group and Granger Construction are uniting to complete the facility.

Granger Group is located at 2221 Health Drive SW, Wyoming, and focuses on turnkey product development, asset management and innovative capital options using reimbursement expertise. The real estate development and capital management company has acquired and developed more than 70 properties since 1997, with a total value of more than $1 billion. 

The Metro Health senior living project is one of more than 10 new developments the company is starting this year throughout Michigan and Ohio.

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