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Rooftop Amenities Will Take Your Senior Living Development from Dull to Brilliant


Those of us who have visited a senior facility in the past might jump at the memories of rooms cramped in tight buildings with bare surroundings, and hardly any outdoor space to socialize. Those days are gone. With the ongoing boom in senior housing development, a property must offer more than just an appealing location or architectural design in order to stand out.

The senior housing boom has been described by many as an arms race where new developments are continuously outdoing one another. First, the focus was on in-unit amenities like granite countertops, spa-like bathrooms, and gourmet kitchen appliances. But then, in-unit amenities became common place, and the tides shifted toward communal areas.  

As baby boomers’ lifestyle comes into play, we are seeing developments that make senior housing feel more like a luxury hotel or dream destination. As well, developers are increasingly leveraging sophisticated rooftop designs to attract this demanding population segment and add tens of thousands of dollars in revenues.

As the bar for senior housing continues to rise, developers are finding great success in beating the competition by offering thoughtfully designed, integrated rooftop amenities in new senior housing projects.


Well-designed rooftop amenities add value to a development project

Rooftop amenities are catering to boomers’ desire for the ultimate retirement experience, which is taking the form of terraces complete with infinity-edge swimming pools, hot tubs, fire pits, outdoor lounge areas and grilling pavilions, which promise endless options for entertainment.

Let’s take a look at how state-of-the-art rooftop amenities will add value to your next senior housing development.

They sell a lifestyle. More than any other product type, senior housing is about selling a lifestyle. Rooftop amenities are a great opportunity for residents to congregate in an exclusive environment, invite friends, and find comfort and camaraderie in their living environment, while increasing the exposure of your property.

They pull from what is already working. Pulling inspiration from some of the world’s fanciest resorts and hotels, architects and developers have discovered that the same luxury rooftop amenities are just as easy to implement in senior housing. Elegant terraces, hi-tech TV rooms, functional gardens, and spa-like gyms make senior living incomparable to past generations.

They address the problem of limited space in the urban core. As senior housing continues to pop up in the urban core, space for amenities and recreation is greatly limited. Rooftop amenities are an excellent utilization of otherwise dead space at the property. When an apartment sits in a dense urban area surrounded by no available green grass or available land, developers must get creative. The only available space may be on the roof for some properties, so why not take advantage?

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Making the most of your rooftop

Having recreational areas for residents to come together will drive value to your property. The most substantial return from these features comes in the form of higher tenant retention rates, but also in higher rental yield or sale price per square foot. This is because baby boomers are willing to pay more when they know that they will have access to scenic skyline views. 

Here are a few innovative rooftop amenities that promise a great return on investment for high-end mixed-use or residential senior housing projects.

Integrated roof terraces. A roof terrace with breathtaking sunset vistas or city skyline views can be a major draw for potential tenants and buyers. This will work to boosting the value of your residential or mixed-use property, as well as keeping the property "hot" for renting, so no unit is left empty between leases.

Play areas for children. Many baby boomers have children with young kids, so offering a children’s playground on the rooftop is an investment that will increase your property's market value. It is absolutely a good selling point as well, for parents will appreciate having a safe play area for their kids while they enjoy other outdoor amenities. 

Roof gardens.  Architects and developers are reaping the financial benefits of roof gardens. Not only do they add aesthetic value to otherwise dead, unusable areas, but a shared garden with community-planted vegetables and herbs could mean the difference between drawing baby boomers or not!

Innovative technology. It’s not worth creating a stunning rooftop deck if residents won’t get the use out of it. This means ensuring the building’s public Wi-Fi reaches the rooftop and installing USB ports and charging stations, so that whether residents or guests are trying to work or relax, they aren’t off the grid.

Pet amenities. From dog parks to washing stations and spas, architects and developers have been stocking their high-end apartment buildings up with rooftop dog amenities not only to attract pet owners, but also to keep them longer.  Pet amenities are sure to add value to your senior property and yield good return on investment.

Pool Tables. A classic. Billiards rooms are classy, and also very functional. The investment can be relatively low. This can be a very popular feature as it encourages tenants to invite friends over to play or even shoot some pool with neighbors. There are indoor options such as a billiard room or an outdoor open concept; which of the two options is right for your building depends on factors like location, weather and budget.

Chess & Checkers. A quick win with a low cost of investment. A couple of concrete or wooden tables with a skyline view can really complement an amenity. This could serve well to utilize an area with limited square footage but a great view. The great thing about adding chess and checkers tables is that they are highly versatile in terms of installation.

Karaoke Room. If you are incorporating a TV room or two as part of your rooftop amenities, you can easily enable them for karaoke by adding some extra equipment and soundproofing the room. You could even extend the reach of your TV rooms beyond karaoke with, for example, a music room for tenants to practice their instruments and receive music lessons.

Ping Pong Tables. Bringing the fun up to the roof, ping pong tables are a great outdoor amenity nowadays. Not only will seniors have an amazing table tennis experience with endless fun, they will also be able to do it year-round. 

Putting Greens. No matter seniors’ age, golf is always a pleasure to play, so bring fun and entertainment to residents by incorporating a synthetic putting green as one of your available rooftop amenities. An artificial turf putting green allows golf enthusiasts to enjoy putting and still work on their short game. Putting greens have become a very popular and another great rooftop recreational amenity. 


As you see, you can take your rooftop in a multitude of directions. Of course, what works well for one project may not work well for another. Whatever rooftop amenities you ultimately decide on, always design and build with the baby boomer demographic group in mind.

Topics: Senior Living

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