The most exciting trend happening in real estate development right now is the emergence of the LIVE, WORK, PLAY, WELLNESS master plan communities springing up in secondary and tertiary markets.Ê These communities encompass all sectors of real estate:
Residential real estate
Hotels (recognized brands, residences, fractional)
HealthÊand wellness (research centers/medical facilities)
Entertainment (food and beverage outlets)
Sports and recreation (fitness/training facilities)
Corporate (satellite corporate office)
This is part of a larger phenomenon in real estate development and hospitality of investors seeking investment opportunities with an upsideÊfor real estate, commercial leasing opportunities andÊwellness.Ê Additionally, the demand for communities offering total ÔbalanceÓ to include lifestyle, wellness, hospitality, recreation, corporate under the guise of ÒcommunityÓ has increased dramatically. In a sense this all mirrors changing demographics and economy whereby people are living and working longer, making health and wellness a priority. For this demographic incorporating work and lifestyle is no longer a desire but a necessity.
Developers, capital markets and investors, which are primarily off-shore, are taking note and creating and investing in development projects to appeal to this emerging market.ÊAnd why not? Incorporating various high-performing sectors in a large-scale development project makes good investment sense and more importantly, generates ROI within typical desire time frames (generally betweenÊ3-5 years).
Corporations are following suit by establishing offices within these communities to maintain or secure new business opportunities within a targeted territory.ÊAdditionally, corporations are acknowledging the needs of employees to create balance between personal and professional lives. Think of this strategy as the next generation of working remotely. How brilliant is that?ÊNot only do you establish retention but you attract talent to your organization simply by setting up shop in desirable communities outside of major corporate hubs; i.e. cities. It’s a Win Win for all.
While hotels brands continue to expand in traditional markets, savvy hospitality industry insiders are actively pursuing opportunities within the expanding LIVE, WORK, PLAY, WELLNESS sector with focus on well-being offerings.ÊFor hospitality companies these communities present a tremendous opportunity for not only brand expansion or growth, but operations and management and in some cases fractional ownership products.ÊWhy the interest from the brands?ÊSimply put, market share (captive audience) and revenue.ÊBaby Boomers and corporations are flocking to these developments to achieve total well-being in an upscale community that provides superior amenities/services, cutting edge medical services/facilities, luxury residential, hospitality accommodations, services, activities, entertainment andÊcorporate campuses (live where you work). This segment of the population is well-traveled and appreciate vibrant communities of active and like-minded individuals. They are the brands’ target audience as well as frequent guests.Ê
And where does the health and wellness sector come into play?ÊWell, Baby Boomers are big business. We all strive to change our lives by incorporating regimens, routines and environments to promote healthy living with the goal of longevity. So, why wouldn’t the health and wellness industries take note of these growing communities?ÊThe term ‘health and wellness’ in relation to LIVE, WORK, PLAY, WELLNESS communities are defined by research medical centers, satellite medical facilities, rehabilitation et al. The goal of these facilities is simply to satisfy the demand of a growing aging population engaged in healthy living practices along with prevention to achieve overall wellness.ÊOf course, this is a tremendous profit center and opportunity for the health, wellness and medical sectors.
The most interesting sector of these communities for me is the addition of sports and fitness; in some cases, sports enhancement facilities.ÊAgain, why wouldn’t there be?ÊLiving longer requires some element of sports and fitness; organized activities to promote wellness.ÊGone are the days when wellness within hospitality or community projects meant spa.ÊWhile spa remains a component of these development projects, the focus is not squarely on spa services but rather health and medical.
So, at this point you must be asking who and where are these new development projects? I have been watching a few. However, two of the most intriguing to me are theÊLake Nona Project being developed by Tavistock Development Company in Orlando, Florida, and Frisco Station in Dallas, Texas.Ê
Lake Nona Project consists of 17-square master plan community within proximity to the airport and will offer all the attributes, services and amenities of a city: hospitals (Medical City), hotels, recreation, sports training facilities (USTA), retail centers, entertainment, restaurants, homes and corporate offices. What struck me as most unique is the developer’s emphasis on ÒwellnessÓ positioning the project is the developer’s strategy of creating a real estate project to create and promote overall good health.ÊThe Lake Nona Project in my opinion is the future of large-scale/mix-use development centered around achieving overall wellness:
ConvenientlyÊand immediately adjacent to the Orlando International Airport Ð ideal for day tripsÊand satellite offices
11,000-acre master planned community, residential and commercial
Commercial focus Ð office, R&D, medical, life sciences, high tech, sports, simulation, industrial, education, retail
650 Acre HealthÊand Biomedical ClusterÊÊ
Orlando Veteran Affairs – a new, state-of-the-art, first V.A. built in years.Ê
Medical Clinical Simulation CenterÊÐ the newest Department of Defense medical simulation center
Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute
Guidewell UST Global Innovation Center
Nemours Children’s Hospital
Ronald McDonald House
University of Central Florida College of MedicineÊand School of Biomedical Sciences
University of Florida Pharmacy School, Research and Academic Center HCA selected as UCF’s Teaching Hospital Partner
HealthÊand wellness initiatives
Lake Nona Impact Forum – anÊannual invitation-only health innovation summit drawing global C-level thought leaders;Êhttp://lakenonaimpactforum.org/
Lake Nona Life Project
WHIT Ð (wellness home built on innovationÊand technology). Model home/showcase of over 65 in-home solutions and products to promote healthÊand wellness; www.meetwhit.com
Lake Nona SportsÊand Performance District
JohnsonÊand Johnson Human Performance Institute
United States Tennis Association headquarters
United States Professional Tennis AssociationÊheadquarters
Major League Soccer – Orlando City Lions
Drive Shack Ð golf experience
Another very intriguing LIVE, WORK, PLAY, WELLNESS (mixed-use development) project is Frisco Station, a 242-acre development along the Dallas North Tollway.ÊThe Dallas North Tollway is one of the most dynamic development corridors in North Texas.ÊIt broke ground late last year and is focused on integrating design features and amenities that will enhance the health and well-being of employees and residents.
The project will feature advanced health and wellness concepts, entertainment venues, specialty restaurants, medical centers, open spaces with programmed events and trail systems that provide connectivity between office, medical and urban living districts.ÊBelow are the highlights:
Frisco Station (Dallas, Texas)
242-acre, master planned vision
137,000 square feet of unique food, beverage and entertainment concepts
650-room hotel campus with conference center (Marriott, AC Hotels and Canopy by Hilton)
29 acres of parks and amenities
2,400 units of luxury urban living
1.5 million square feet of class-A office space
1 million square feet corporate campus
MedicalÊand wellness campus at one end of the property and a regional hub for fitness, community connectivity and wellbeing at the other
Who is funding these new master plan communities?ÊFollow the money, always.ÊWhile most capital stems from domestic capital sources, I can tell you from experience there is tremendous interest from the foreign capital markets.ÊForeign investors lead the charge in expressing interest in these projects and rightly so, as the returns are great.ÊWhat is compelling for international investors are investment structures of these projects which satisfy specific investment strategies and requirements.ÊThere is significant upside andÊcheaper costs due to location in secondary and tertiary markets, real estate andÊresidential medical/research centers, which are well-funded, corporate satellite offices (revenue generated from leases/exposure), hospitality (transient/long-term stay), and I can go on and on.ÊWhy wouldn’t anyone invest in these projects, particularly in the present real estate market climate?
For the rest of us, there is a significant upside as well.ÊThe comfort in knowing developers and corporations are taking into considering health and wellness components as they plan future communities. Our communities.ÊThink next generation of mater plan communities if you will. As we seek to create a better quality of life and longevity, there will be plenty of choices centered around LIVE, WORK, PLAY, WELLNESS.ÊAnd that’s a good thing for all of us.
By Trica Jean-Baptiste
Trica Jean-Baptiste is the founder and President of Morgensheer Hospitality, Inc., a consortium of hospitality, real estate, development, sales and marketing and communications consultants. The Morgensheer Hospitality Inc. Consortium provides strategic hospitality services to real estate investors acquiring and developing hospitality assets. Trica is also a licensed real estate sales associate specializing in commercial real estate Ð hotels, resorts, hospitality development projects and investments. Prior to embarking upon a second career in commercial real estate, Trica was President and founder of Trica Jean-Baptiste Communications, LLC; an award-winning boutique travel hospitality PR companyÊbased in NYC for 15 years.ÊWhile heading up Trica Jean-Baptiste Communications, LLC. she represented some of travel’s leading hotels, resorts and tourism units: Rocco Forte Hotels, Star Hotel’s the Michelangelo Hotel, St Giles Hotels New York, Hotel St-Barth Isle de France, Rosewood Hotels’ Caneel Bay and Little Dix Bay, Hotel Esprit St-German (Paris, France), Dubai Tourism, Scotland Business Tourism Unit, Brussels to name a few.