Vancouver, BC Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. (TSX.V:ELM) poured the final concrete slab for the top floor of its innovative aging-in-place community in the Cambie Corridor in May. OPAL is the flagship project for Element’s award-winning intergenerational approach to creating community residences that overcomes the stigma of “old folks’ homes” by encouraging families to not only interact on a regular basis, but to have the choice of residing together through all stages of life.
President and Founder, Don Ho, pioneered the aging-in-place retirement living concept and Element is changing the perception and experience of retirement and aging. Its revolutionary concept won an international award over 950 projects assessed worldwide.
“In this market, to be on time and on budget, is a rarity. Kudos to our development team and PEAK Construction for doing an exceptional job,” says Don Ho. “Our home owners are really excited now that the structure is complete as it won’t be long until they move in and see our intergenerational Continuum of Care model in action.”
Located in the core of Vancouver’s premier West Side on the Cambie Corridor, OPAL by Element, spans an entire city block, on the south side of King Edward between Yukon and Cambie. It features 130 bright and modern suites and lifestyle-designed amenities and services. OPAL encompasses the complete spectrum of lifestyles, from Independent Living and Assisted Living rental and condominium suites, to respite care and Licensed Complex Care.
From left to right Candy Ho, Don Ho and Wendy Ho | Photo supplied: Element Lifestyle Retirement
Also, unique to OPAL is its approach to investors and speculators.
“We do not sell to investors who do not appreciate or intend to use what we provide, because we are here to serve,” says Candy Ho, co-founder, director and vice president brand development & communications. “Element’s vision is to revolutionize the perception and experience of retirement and aging, for seniors themselves, and all families, across all cultures.” Instead of an average entry age in the mid 80s, the profile of the residents who have purchased or reserved rental units at OPAL is 30% in the 50s, 34% in the 60s, 30% in the 70s, and the balance being split between older seniors and younger grandchildren.
About 9 months from completion, OPAL by Element, has 91% of homes in the residence sold and 96% of the rental homes are reserved. This demonstrates remarkable success, as it typically takes 2 or 3 years for a retirement residence to fill up after opening for occupancy. Of its 130 homes, OPAL has 44 condominiums and 56 rentals as Independent Living, all physically designed and staffed to provide for Assisted Living so that residents can stay in their same suite as long as possible. In a dedicated and secured area with its own dining, activities and around 2500 square feet of outdoor patio, there are 30 units of 24-hour Registered Nursing, Licensed Complex Care suites.
OPAL’s topping off ceremony was attended by senior executives from Element Lifestyle Retirement, PEAK Construction and the project’s financing team from BMO.
Element’s branded intergenerational model recognizes that society benefits as a whole when there is integration of all age groups. Stress is reduced as adults maintain a demanding career, provide for their children, and help their retiring or aging parents live to their fullest.
Family members “come home” to a place where everyone is connected to the ones they love, passionately engaged in meaningful activities, and feeling complete peace of mind at any stage of life.
Element’s model encompasses a seamless transition for older adults from independence to assisted living to complex care, while integrating accommodation and activities for all ages to create a vibrant environment. This enables older adults and their families to have complete peace of mind with the availability of adaptive services and care in a purpose-built customized community that will accommodate residents’ changing needs.
Element’s innovative model and OPAL’s sales and leasing success have produced strong interest from Townships, Municipalities, urban planners, and developers of master planned communities – locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. In October this year, an Australian retirement living International Study Tour is coming to Canada to visit its top innovators in the industry. (https://onefellswoop.com.au/ist18/) The group has already secured a day with OPAL and Element’s leadership team.
Element currently has two additional projects in development. OASIS by Element, a 17-acre master planned community in Langley and AQUARA, an intergenerational aging-in-place residence located in the picturesque harbour of Victoria West within Bayview Place, a 20-acre master planned community a few minutes’ walk from Downtown Victoria.
Anyone interested in receiving updates about Element Lifestyle Retirement and its communities can register at http://elementliving.com/contact. Currently open to visitors is OPAL’s Discovery Centre located at City Square, Cambie and 12th Avenue.