ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, a LeadingAge member based in West Point, PA, announced in early April that it plans to invest $300 million to renovate and reposition its continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) "in preparation of serving the next generation of retirees."

Funding for the 3-year repositioning effort will come primarily from operating capital, tax-exempt financing and fundraising, according to the organization.

"The next wave of seniors who will be moving into our communities have different expectations, not just in activities they prefer but how they want to live," said ACTS Chief Executive Officer Mark Vanderbeck in a statement. "The retirement communities that will thrive in the future will offer greater choice, flexibility and customization that the next generation of retirees will demand."

A Long List of Planned Upgrades

Approximately 8,500 older adults live in the 23 life care retirement communities that ACTS owns and operates in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The organization will implement its renovation and repositioning plan in many of those communities.

In the Philadelphia suburbs alone, the organization is planning to carry out $120 million in upgrades at 8 CCRCs.

One of the largest renovation projects will take place at Granite Farms Estates in Media, PA, where the organization will invest $40 million in upgrades over a 36-month period. These upgrades will include a new bistro café, fitness center, heated indoor pool and larger independent living apartments.

Over the next 3 years, ACTS expects to upgrade other CCRCs by adding:

  • Casual dining bistros.
  • Spacious fitness centers.
  • More home-like health care centers.
  • Larger apartments with optional floor plans.
  • Upgraded interior furnishings.
  • Single-family homes within many campuses.

A Message for Other LeadingAge Members

Stephen Maag, director of residential communities at LeadingAge, applauded ACTS' multi-year strategic plan and urged other LeadingAge members to consider making similar plans to ensure that their campuses are attractive to the changing older consumer.

"It's vital for aging services organizations to begin now to prepare for the new consumer who will be coming along over the next decade," says Maag. "Every organization needs to start gearing up to serve this consumer. That's the huge message behind the ACTS announcement-and it's a message that every LeadingAge member should hear and take to heart."