CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Tyler The Blake at Waco

10 Ways Physical Design Impacts Wellness

Holistically designing senior living communities with wellness and lifestyle in mind can significantly improve outcomes for residents while reducing overall healthcare costs. LifeCare Properties’ approach to senior living focuses on wellbeing and allows seniors to age in place in luxury, safety, and comfort.

The following outlines ten ways in which thoughtful physical design positively impacts wellness in our Texas senior living properties:

1. Open floor plans promote movement and social engagement. Spacious common areas encourage physical and mental activity.

2. Abundant natural light and views of the outdoors boost mood and sleep quality,  minimizing risks of depression and falls.

3. Courtyard spaces get residents active outdoors. Regular exercise reduces risks of chronic conditions.

4. Therapy and fitness studios keep bodies and brains engaged. Structured wellness programs prevent declines associated with inactivity.

5. Activity studios, theaters, and chapels provide cognitive and social stimulation through art, music, and hands-on projects. These activities support memory and delay dementia’s progression.

6. Multiple dining venues with variety in cuisine and ambiance allow flexibility in dining experiences. Enjoying meals together in a lively social setting prevents isolation and malnutrition.

7. Convenient clinics and telehealth capabilities address minor illnesses on-site to avoid costly emergency room visits or hospital stays.

8. Amenities customized for memory care safely support those with cognitive challenges via dedicated dining rooms, spacious living areas, and a secured landscaped courtyard.

9. Universal design features like walk-in showers and grab bars throughout accommodate changing abilities, preventing falls and enabling independence for as long as possible.

10. Innovative technology such as Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air purification systems that clear the indoor air of pollutants, dust, allergens, and more.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Tyler The Blake at Waco

Resort-Style Senior Living Is a Smart Middle Market Investment

According to the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), there is a growing demand for senior living communities that offer luxurious amenities similar to those found in resorts. LifeCare Properties has successfully developed senior living communities with a resort-style atmosphere, including memory care services, in middle markets that are projected to experience significant population and job growth in the future. These communities, which feature high-end amenities such as outdoor courtyards, fully-equipped theaters, fitness centers, salon/spas, and chef-prepared meals with restaurant-style dining and beverage services, have the potential to provide stable returns for an extended period.

The Growing Demand for Resort-Style Senior Living

The senior housing market is witnessing tremendous expansion due to the retirement of baby boomers, occurring at a rate of 10,000 individuals per day. However, today’s seniors desire more than just a traditional retirement home. They seek communities that provide upscale amenities, abundant opportunities for social interaction and entertainment, and a strong emphasis on wellness and recreation. These communities are attracting both residents and investors.

For investors, resort-style senior living presents an opportunity to leverage significant demographic and lifestyle trends. Several key factors contribute to the potential returns, including:

  • Limited competition: Upscale senior communities face substantial increased investment and development timelines, which limit the availability of new properties in the short term.
  • Affluent resident base: Resort-style communities attract residents with higher net worth and disposable income.
  • Competitive advantage: Resort-style communities gain a competitive edge by meeting the lifestyle expectations of their residents. This advantage contributes to long-term value appreciation, higher annual occupancy rates, and increased net operating income (NOI).
  • Recession resilience: The senior housing market has demonstrated resilience during economic downturns, as the need for care and housing remains constant. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeCare Properties’ resort-style communities have proven resilient, catering to an affluent market that is less affected by economic downturns.

Why Middle Markets?

So why are middle markets so appealing? Many major metropolitan areas have become oversaturated, while mid-sized cities offer room for growth, with more affordable land and construction costs. There is also less competition from large national developers who tend to focus on larger cities.

In addition, middle markets often have lower costs of living, less traffic and congestion, and stronger community ties – all of which are attractive to older adults. Many baby boomers are migrating to college towns or places near their grandchildren. These locations offer an ideal combination of amenities, natural beauty, safety, and family connections.

Strong Potential for Investor Returns

Resort-style senior living communities present an attractive investment opportunity within the middle market real estate sector. These properties tend to have higher rates of occupancy and monthly rental income compared to traditional senior apartments or care facilities.

For investors, this translates into a reliable cash flow and substantial potential for long-term price appreciation. Research conducted by the American Seniors Housing Association reveals that resort-style senior living communities have consistently outperformed the broader senior housing market, experiencing annual valuation increases of 5-7% in recent years.


While institutional developers compete for prime real estate in major cities, the overlooked middle markets present lucrative opportunities. The growing aging population is driving demand, with individuals seeking amenities and a desirable lifestyle, rather than just a place to spend their retirement years. By partnering with the right capital investors and employing onsite operators who provide exceptional lifestyle experiences, property owners can establish stable and growing cash flows, ensuring sound investment returns.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Tyler The Blake at Waco

LifeCare Properties Develops Vibrant Resort-Style Communities Today’s Seniors Demand

We build senior living resort-style communities that provide a comprehensive package of upscale amenities and services designed to appeal to an active, independent older adult demographic. Our lifestyle-driven communities aim to emulate the experience of a luxury resort while offering the security and convenience of an age-qualified community.

Affluent retirees ages 65 and older who desire an active, social lifestyle feel right at home in our developments. Many residents are independent, requiring few assisted living services initially. However, the communities are designed to accommodate residents’ changing needs as they age, offering memory care as well.

The demand for senior living resort amenities is driven by several demographic and lifestyle trends. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is now reaching retirement age. This large demographic cohort tends to have higher expectations for active, engaged living in retirement compared to previous generations. Additionally, many boomers are financially secure and willing to pay a premium for upscale senior living options that provide a resort-like experience.

Our resort-style amenities include restaurant-style dining, fitness and wellness services, salons, libraries, theaters, activity studios, chapels, and more. Activities and social events are plentiful, with options ranging from cultural outings and group fitness classes to casual card games and happy hours. The result is an environment that fosters an engaging social community while also catering to residents’ desires for independence, convenience and a high quality of life.

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CategoriesD. Brooks Holstein LifeCare Properties The Blake at Waco

Design Partner Awarded for The Blake at Waco

Banko Design, LLC receives prestigious award for the design of Waco’s leading senior living community

WACO, TX – LifeCare Properties with Blake Management Group proudly recognizes partner Banko Design for their 2022 Bronze Award from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for The Blake at Waco.

Each year, the ASID meticulously selects from first-rate applicants spearheading the design industry in innovation, combined with progressive human and global impact. For their exceptional design of The Blake at Waco—a 110-unit assisted living and memory care community— ASID awarded Banko Design the Bronze Award in the Multifamily Senior Living category.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride for our team, as well as our partnership with LifeCare Properties, that led to this award,” said Melissa Banko, Principal and Owner of Banko Design. “With this project, we wanted to emulate a striking combination of traditional Texas roots with an immaculate, modern aesthetic. We want every person who walks through those doors to feel the intentionality behind each of our design decisions that is evident in every corner of the community.”

Beautifully appointed, The Blake at Waco lends itself to an extraordinary environment with a rich history. Influenced by central Texas’ rolling landscapes and nearby farmlands, its design has no shortage of immaculate architectural and historical elements. Featuring intricate detailing through wooden beams, stunning light fixtures and inviting fabrics, the community highlights a striking Southern aesthetic with rich blue and green accents.

“The Blake at Waco was idealized for seniors seeking a 24/7 unmatched care experience with resort-style comfort and service,” said Brooks Holstein, founder and managing partner of LifeCare Properties. “The team at Banko Design far exceeded this mission. From their thorough planning to intricate detailing, they have created an unrivaled atmosphere that feels like home to residents.”


Banko Design is a full-service boutique interior design studio, specializing in senior living, multifamily, and boutique hospitality spaces. The team of talented designers and interior architects work from their studio in Marietta, GA, while serving communities across the United States. Priding themselves on prioritizing collaboration with their clients to bring their visions to life, Banko Design creates beautiful, functional spaces that personify strong character and individual narratives. They offer turnkey services, as the team manages all aspects of each project through completion, meeting budgets and exceeding expectations.

For additional information on Banko Design and their project with The Blake, please visit

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at Waco

Move-In Coordinator/Director of Activities Joins Waco Team

Jole Cromwell, Move-in Coordinator/Director of Activities, The Blake at Waco

As construction nears completion on The Blake at Waco, Blake Management Group (BMG) has hired Jole Cromwell to serve as Move-In Coordinator and ultimately transition to Director of Activities.

Jole’s previous experience in senior care as a Director of Life Enrichment uniquely qualifies her to fill these roles.

More about Jole.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Waco

BMG Fills Crucial Director of Wellness Positions in Texas

Blake Management Group (BMG) recently hired Directors of Wellness (DOW) for their Texas communities nearing completion in Waco and New Braunfels. Responsible for complete oversight of a community’s wellness systems, the DOW is one of the most crucial staff members.

Amanda Harness, Director of Wellness, The Blake at Waco

At The Blake at Waco, the role has been filled by Amanda Harness, BSN, RN.
More about Amanda.

Megan Perez, Director of Wellness, The Blake at New Braunfels

Megan Perez, RN, has accepted the position at The Blake at New Braunfels.
More about Megan.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at Waco

The Blake at Waco Construction Progress: November 2020

Waco, Texas – Despite a global coronavirus outbreak and local rainfall totals to date 20 inches over the annual average, construction on The Blake at Waco remains on schedule.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the current construction pace in Waco,” commented Adam Mitchell, LifeCare Properties’ Director of Development and Construction. “This year has presented a whole host of challenges, from over two months of inclement weather to navigating the pandemic, but we remain on schedule for 2021.”

Work on the site situated at Legends Crossing began in December 2019. Although “weather days” are factored into construction-scheduling, the global health threat declared in March of this year called for unique problem-solving. Anticipating labor and supply chain disruptions the team proactively ordered building materials, FF&E, and continue to creatively overcome obstacles resulting from COVID-19.

The next construction schedule milestones include roof work and window installation, as well as beginning interior work.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Waco

Our Residents Can Breathe Easy

(November 2, 2020) -The health and safety of our residents and associates in senior living will always be our top priority.  At LifeCare Properties (LCP), we have been diligent over the past several months to find solutions in both the design of our communities, as well as the processes and policies we implement above and beyond the recommendations of healthcare organizations.

As we respond to the current pandemic, we are confident one element in particular will be a differentiator in keeping seniors safe. Every LCP development features a a Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air purification system (NPBI). This is a process that works to clear the air of pollutants, dust, allergens, mold, bacteria and viruses (e.g., COVID, SARS, MRSA).

Patented by Global Plasma Solutions, Inc (GPS), this revolutionary technology constantly generates a high concentration of positively and negatively charged ions that travel through the air continuously working to remove dangerous particles. When ions disperse throughout a space, they combine with particles in the air and begin to cluster, making them easier to capture in filtration systems.

These ions also disrupt pathogens’ surface proteins, rendering them inactive and unable to replicate. In addition to cleaning the air, this air purification system breaks down chemical, pet, cooking and other odors into basic harmless compounds, leaving indoor air smelling fresh and free of odor-causing agents.

GPS’ ionization technology is trusted to clean the air in hundreds of thousands of installations worldwide – including hospitals, school, airports, and more. Notable installations include The White House, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

“The strongest defense against these infections will continue to be the efforts by our care teams and processes to keep infection control measures first and foremost on our minds”, said Brooks Holstein, LCP Founder.  He added, “that said, we are committed both to our ionization technology as well as our approach to be provocative throughout the months ahead.”  “As the information and research changes, we will change as well.”

LCP and our operator Blake Management Group (BMG) are introducing the technology to the BMG family of communities with installation in The Blake at Waco and The Blake at New Braunfels, upscale assisted living and memory care communities in Texas developed by LCP.  These 112-unit communities will be managed by BMG, a proven leader in senior living.



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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Waco

LifeCare Properties Partners Tour Texas Sites

October 22, 2020 – Recently, managing partners Brooks Holstein, Jeremy Cole, Adam Mitchell, and Daniel Payne of LifeCare Properties (LCP) toured the Texas construction sites of The Blake at Waco and The Blake at New Braunfels. The 112-unit, upscale assisted living and memory care communities are being developed by LCP and will be managed by Blake Management Group (BMG), a leader in senior living. Joining the LCP team for the site visits was Anita Davis, BMG Texas Regional Director of Operations.

With roof trusses being installed at The Blake at Waco and second-floor walls going up at The Blake at New Braunfels, construction remains on schedule for early 2021.

“During the visits with BMG and onsite teams, lease-up and deposits are exceeding our expectations at this point.  We are looking forward to a productive end of year and early 2021,” noted Jeremy Cole, LCP managing partner and Chief Operating Officer.

The Blake at Waco is located at 5901 Crosslake Parkway, Waco, Texas, 76712.

The Blake at New Braunfels is located at 220 Creekside Crossing, New Braunfels, Texas, 78130.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at Waco

Director of Sales Hired for The Blake at Waco

(October 13, 2020) – Blake Management Group (BMG) has hired Haley Gardner to serve as Director of Sales for The Blake at Waco currently under construction in Waco, Texas. The 112-unit, upscale assisted living and memory care community is being developed by LifeCare Properties and will be managed by BMG, a leader in senior living.

Haley has been in sales for eight years and has been serving seniors for two and a half years. She says she finds the relationships with and the impact she has on seniors are true blessings.

To learn more about Haley, visit her BMG bio by clicking here.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Waco

National Real Estate Development Group Announces New Partner And Chief Operating Officer

Commercial real estate development company, COMVEST Properties LLC and their Senior Living Division LifeCare Properties LLC, announce new Managing Partner and COO

BILOXI, Miss. and LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/
— Biloxi, Mississippi-based commercial real estate development company, COMVEST Properties LLC/LifeCare Properties LLC, announces a powerhouse name in senior living to their leadership team. Jeremy Cole joins the company as Managing Partner and Chief Operations Officer.

COMVEST/LifeCare Properties (LCP) is headquartered in Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. COMVEST, through its wholly owned affiliate LifeCare Properties LLC, is a multi-generational and diverse commercial real estate development company that is currently focusing on luxury senior living communities that feature assisted living and memory care.

As Managing Partner and COO, Mr. Cole will oversee the company’s portfolio for asset management, strategic initiatives and pursuits for new development opportunities and innovation.

Cole will operate and expand LCP’s satellite office, located in the Butchertown historic district of Louisville, KY, as the city is an epicenter for senior living real estate, operations, technology and thought leadership.

“After working alongside the COMVEST/LCP team for the past several years, I’m thrilled to now be part of it and help drive expansion of this special development team and mission,” said Jeremy Cole. “Our founder, Brooks, has been a mentor to me and I respect his broad experience and acumen across many categories of real estate. He is a Harvard Alum and served on the Real Estate Advisory Board at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Brooks has a very diverse background in commercial real estate development. After seven years of being CEO for Blake Management Group, I look forward to adding my seasoned perspective to how we design our spaces, how we team with operations, and ultimately how we enhance the lives of seniors. We plan to target what we believe are growth markets and trade areas in the Southwest and the Mid and Mountain West. These are fun places to be for all ages.”

Cole spent more than 15 years in management consulting, working for Accenture LLC, Marriott International and as a campaign manager for various political campaigns. He has an MBA with a focus in Operations Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Kentucky. He has been accepted to Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Real Estate Development program and will be a proud member of the 2021 class.

Cole’s experience and specialties include but are not limited to senior living executive management; senior care and service delivery excellence; senior software management; senior community operations and program/project management.

“We are thrilled to add Jeremy to our leadership team at COMVEST/LCP,” said Brooks Holstein, Managing Member. “Not only will he bring a tighter focus on senior living operations for all LCP assets, but he will also be a great partner and role model for our employees and vendors.”

Holstein has an expansive background in Corporate Real Estate development beginning his career in 1979 with Wendy’s International. He founded COMVEST Properties in 2003. In conjunction with Net Lease Developers and transactional development partners, COMVEST has developed over 2 million square foot of shopping centers and various single-tenant retail properties while establishing a lucrative retail portfolio. In 2018, COMVEST elected to exist the retail sector and expanded its development platform with the formation of LifeCare Properties, LLC, focusing primarily on upscale, resort-style senior housing. Under the terms of a joint venture with Blake Management Group, LifeCare Properties will assist in the expansion of The Blake senior living brand beginning with Texas communities: The Blake at Waco and The Blake at New Braunfels.

To learn more about Jeremy Cole, please visit his his LinkedIn profile by clicking here.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at Waco

Waco Native Hired as Executive Director for The Blake at Waco

(November 25, 2019) – Blake Management Group (BMG) has hired Melissa Frazier to serve as Executive Director of The Blake at Waco currently under construction in Waco, Texas. The 112-unit, upscale assisted living and memory care community is being developed by LifeCare Properties and will be managed by BMG, a leader in senior living.

A native of Waco and a longtime Baylor Bears fan, Melissa began her senior living career with Emeritus Senior Living as a Senior Executive Director in Dallas operating a 278-unit community. She worked her way up to be a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing with Emeritus and Brookdale following Brookdale’s acquisition of Emeritus. Melissa then joined JEA Senior Living as a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing and eventually an Operations Specialist offering operational support to JEA communities throughout the country. She joins BMG after serving most recently as an Operations Specialist for Tulsa, OK based Senior Star.

To learn more about Melissa, visit her BMG bio by clicking here.

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CategoriesLifeCare Properties The Blake at New Braunfels The Blake at Waco

The Seniors Housing Business Interview: Jeremy Cole and Brooks Holstein

There are several common refrains about seniors housing:

  • New players are constantly entering the sector, enticed by seniors housing’s high return on investment and resistance to recessionary forces.
  • Those new players must partner with an experienced operator in order to succeed in this complicated field.
  • Medium-sized, regional operators are the most likely to succeed as they have scale that outshines mom-and-pop shops, but have tighter quality control compared with the behemoths of the industry.

That type of partnership is what Biloxi-based commercial real estate developer LifeCare Properties sought when it decided to work with Jackson, Mississippi-based operator Blake Management Group (BMG).

Blake is a regional seniors housing operator founded in 2007 with around 20 locations throughout the Southeast. The executives of LifeCare and its predecessor companies have been developing retail and hospitality projects for 50 years.

The two companies announced last year that they were forming a $225 million joint venture to develop 10 new seniors housing properties totaling about 1,000 beds over five years. The goal is to leverage LifeCare’s deep development experience with Blake’s operational success to push each other to new heights.

The first two projects in the venture — in Waco and New Braunfels, Texas — are currently under construction with an expected delivery in late 2020.

Seniors Housing Business spoke with Blake’s CEO Jeremy Cole and LifeCare’s founder and managing member Brooks Holstein to discuss the venture’s goals, and what their plans mean for the seniors housing industry as a whole.

Seniors Housing Business: What led to this venture happening? What did the two companies see in each other?

Cole: Our executive director at The Blake at Flowood (in Flowood, Mississippi) has family relationships with the CFO of LifeCare, and that CFO’s grandmother is a resident with us at The Blake at Flowood. A family conversation over Thanksgiving dinner led to a conversation with a LifeCare executive, which led to a meeting.

We liked that LifeCare has a lot of hospitality experience. Brooks is a second-generation hotel, restaurant and real estate developer, and we had a lot of similarities in the way we look at culture, people development, customer service and hospitality.

LifeCare has been, from the very first phone call, extremely open and excited to learn about senior living. They’ve been great partners to understand and enhance what we do. We’ve really enjoyed collaborating to build the new BMG community that they will design and build.

Holstein: We have an extensive background in retail development starting in 1980 when I was a real estate manager for a then-emerging hamburger company called Wendy’s. So we stayed focused on retail in earnest until about 2016 when we really saw the decimation of retail expansion. We felt like the industry was on decline based upon the consumer spending habits, weaker balance sheet and unsustainable corporate debt for retailers. We knew we were going to find another sector.

We had an introduction to the management team at Blake. We spent over six months getting to know each other, getting to understand each other’s culture. We each agreed at the end it was a fantastic fit for both companies.

Our platform is built on the use of equity from the limited partnership of my wife’s family. We like to control the projects. We don’t particularly care for having investors with different investment goals and criteria than we have. In the first two projects with Blake, we self-funded the equity and secured debt for the construction loans.

We try not to use other people’s money because other people tend to want a great deal of control. With our expertise and the expertise of Blake, that’s all we need to make a successful relationship and project.

SHB: Give us the nuts and bolts of how the joint venture between Blake and LifeCare works.

Holstein: Blake’s model is structured very similarly to a luxury hotel venture, where a developer provides the equity, secures financing, oversees all phases of development, with the input and participation of the operating partner. Once the project is completed, Blake has a total turnkey management role.

LifeCare owns the building, owns the improvements, but Blake makes all the management decisions from budgeting right down to front-of-the-house office.

Cole: And we have joint interest in the overall economics of the community. We’re happy to say that we have a very fair share of the upside.

SHB: The announcement mentioned that you’re using this partnership to expand Blake’s geographic reach (currently throughout the Southeast). I see the first two communities in the partnership are in Texas. Where else are you looking to go?

Cole: Our other two development partners — Cardinal Ventures and Quality Senior Living — are always looking for opportunities in the Southeast. With this joint venture we’re looking to expand throughout the Southwest, and perhaps in the Mountain West and Midwest.

SHB: Why those markets?

Cole: We have partners that look at demographics and where seniors are not only living or moving, but where other operators have high occupancies. We think there’s a lot of opportunity in those three regions.

Holstein: There was a lot of research that prioritized a list of six to 10 markets that held the greatest potential.

Blake has strategically developed a model that takes four to five communities to justify an area director that would oversee the management, and would have the executive director of each community report up to the area director.

Creating efficiency

SHB: The two Texas properties have identical renderings and unit counts. Are you planning to build on a template for these properties? If so, is this an effective way to manage development costs (and theoretically, by extension, rents)?

Holstein: In our experience, the development of a prototype not only allows you to control cost, quality and timelines, but it also extends over into building on the brand identity. When someone sees a Blake community developed by LifeCare, they will know it’s from both of us. We think that adds value across the board.

We spent six to nine months taking ideas from two prototypes of the preferred developers of Blake, combined them and brought in our own design and architectural team and built what we thought was an ideal prototype that could be used across multiple states.

Cole: These early joint decisions, operator and developer together, make a real difference. Our developers represent our advisory board. The operations team has a seat at the table while making decisions. I’m not sure we can do it any other way.

That was a big part of these joint venture discussions. LifeCare understood market selection, development and construction deeply, but they were very willing to learn what they do not know about senior living. When interests are aligned in programming, and operations are considered in both the market selection and design process, we find success. We find it imperative to have those interests aligned.

Holstein: We interviewed and hired one of the top senior living interior design firms in the country — Banko Design out of Atlanta — to help us regionalize the feel of the interior, to get more of a residential feeling that feels very familiar to our potential resident. The net effect has been fantastic in our view.

SHB: Seniors housing is currently overbuilt, according to the NIC numbers, driving occupancy down. How do you plan to develop in a way that won’t exacerbate that problem, and ensure your new communities succeed?

Cole: First and foremost, we take this trend very seriously, both in live operations and in development. We are making decisions on where we are going and market selection based on this risk. We’re being very deliberate and considering every overdevelopment risk possible before we decide on a market.

Secondly, in previous markets where someone has developed on top of one of our existing communities, we still deeply believe it comes down to the people that you hire, the culture you create and the services you deliver day in and day out. That’s our competitive advantage.

Each market we go into, we’ll either be the nicest community in the market or close, and we’ll be at a price point that’s highly competitive to all products in the market.

Holstein: There’s a fundamental component that gives Blake an advantage: The company is private. There’s no requirement of meeting growth benchmarks that other public companies have to meet. If a market is not ready, premature or oversaturated, they simply don’t have to develop.

The brilliance of Blake’s management is the C-Suite. They have so much experience, and they collaborated with us in looking at markets. If there were indicators of operational weakness or softness in rent, we would bypass that community.

We don’t want to just grab market share in an over-competitive market. We’d rather find an underserved market that meets a Blake community demographic profile, and get the most dominant site we can in the market.

It’s a bit of a new step for Blake. We’re trying to find retail or hotel locations at dominant intersections. We pay a lot of money for very good sites.

SHB: LifeCare’s other main partnership is with COMVEST Properties, which is largely a retail developer now looking to get into seniors housing. Is there anything you’re able to learn from COMVEST’s retail history that you can now apply to seniors housing?

Cole: Construction is not easy. When we start our preleasing and marketing efforts 15 months out from resident’s Day 1 we are selling and proposing a vision of senior living that some need right now. To communicate a timeline and deliver on a timeline for construction is extremely important for senior living. I’ve been in scenarios where, due to delays, we’ve had to rent hotel rooms and work with competitors because seniors have needs right now.

The value that I see LifeCare adding is that in other industries the company has worked in, the penalties and the construction diligence are extremely high. The company has developed for Walgreen’s, Office Depot and Starbucks. Being late is not an option.

The second thing that comes to mind is LifeCare’s background in customer service. When you open up a community, you have 110 units, 110 showers, 110 rooms that need to be fully operational. They understand through hotels and retail the commitment that we are giving to our residents when they move in.

The learning curve for customer service has been nonexistent with LifeCare.

Holstein: I formed COMVEST over 15 years ago as a retail development company. It basically is a real estate research and service company and its exclusive client is ourselves.

We’re used to approaching the development process with a very different, entrepreneurial look. We will invest heavily in our entitlements during due diligence, not wait until late to make significant capital investment. We’ll have $400,000 to $500,000 in architectural fees, but we’ll literally be able to start construction within days of closing on the property.

We’ve never had a failed project that we started but didn’t get built. That was just an expectation of the retailers. We learned to get very comfortable with the right consultants, architects and surveyors that we can rely on to help us make relatively aggressive entitlement decisions.

We also have a wide breadth of banking and lending relationships. We’re continuing to try to expand those as we go further west or toward the Midwest. Having established banking relationships is critical to the senior living sector.

The average Walgreens was a $5 million total development cost, with an equity cost of up to $1 million. Every Blake community is a $25 million project. It’s a very different profile for the lender.

SHB: How are you handling that step up?

Holstein: We went back to an existing lending relationship that had financed the last Walgreens we did. Coincidentally the lender also had been doing construction financing for one of Blake’s other partners.

The lender had the advantage of in-depth knowledge of the development skills of Blake. They had seen firsthand the way that we precisely overmanage our development. We are totally micromanagers when it comes to making sure we don’t overlook a critical aspect of a project.

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CategoriesThe Blake at Waco

The Blake Proudly Announces Its Second Texas Community

LifeCare Properties, together with Blake Management Group, introduces The Blake at Waco, a resort-style senior living community on Waco’s historic South Side (to the southeast geographically). This will be the second Blake location to open in Texas.

“We recently announced our first community in the great state of Texas, New Braunfels, and Waco is equally exciting for us as we continue this strategic plan,” said Jeremy Cole, CEO of Blake Management Group.

LifeCare Properties is developing the estimated 93,000-square-foot, 112-unit assisted living and memory care community. The assisted living and memory care suites will be designed for comfortable, safe and enjoyable senior living.

“Historically, The Blake fits really well in university towns like Waco, which we know is growing quickly. We are excited to be part of this growth from a healthcare and hospitality perspective,” said Cole.

The assisted living options include two-bedroom suites, one-bedroom suites and studios. The memory-support area of the community, focusing on Alzheimer’s and dementia care, will feature both studio and one-bedroom suites specifically designed to provide a safe environment where resident’s socialization and specialized cognitive therapy plans are paramount. Walk with Me, Blake’s proprietary program centered on dementia care, will also be available at Waco.

“By investing in industry leading engagement tools and programs like Walk with Me in our communities, we are providing what we believe is an unmatched memory care experience for residents and their loved ones,” said Cole.

Formerly a 158-acre industrial tract at Waco’s “front door” from the South, Blake at Waco is situated at Legends Crossing. Development of the area began with the 75-acre Baylor Scott & White Hospital campus. The hospital is now part of the high-end commercial project that includes an environmentally friendly and accessible network of hotels, restaurants, parks, lakes and pedestrian paths. The location is also in close proximity to Baylor University, which has a strong connection with Blake.

Cole added, “Baylor University is near and dear to our organization. BMG board member Edgar McKee is a Baylor graduate, and our COO Katie Kleinsmith lives in Austin and will be sitting on the Board of Advocates for Baylor’s Garland School of Social Work.”

Deeply rooted in hospitality, the Blake strives for the best in care and quality of life, as well as exceptional value. Communities are staffed by registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Blake also takes pride in delivering an exceptional dining experience with highly-trained chefs and food prepared purposefully for seniors.

Visit for upcoming news regarding development and pre-opening sales.


Blake Management Group is a privately held senior living operator formed in 2007 with the goal of providing outstanding senior living services that are meaningful, compassionate and innovative. Based in Jackson, MS, Blake Management Group is responsible for the operation of 20 communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia and Texas.

For additional information on BMG, please visit

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