Ware Malcomb architects with San Diego offices in Sorrento Valley is expanding its push into the senior living market with the completion of the $39 million Westmont of Encinitas.
“Senior living as a market is booming, to use a pun,” said Brian Koshley, regional director of Ware Malcomb in San Diego, referring to the Baby Boom generation that is reaching retirement age.
During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, “senior living didn’t skip a beat,” Koshley said. “I don’t think they build them fast enough.”
The look and feel of projects like Westmont of Encinitas are far removed from the assisted living projects of decades past, Koshley said.
“There was a time period when these facilities had a very institutional feel. Some of them were old hotels,” Koshley said.
The goal with projects such as Westmont Encinitas is to provide aging tenants the support they need but in a setting that is akin to high end apartment complexes, Koshley said.
Developed by Westmont Living based in La Jolla on a 3.2-acre site at 1920 South El Camino Real, the 91,334 square-foot Westmont Encinitas has 93 apartments — 35 studios, 50 one-bedroom apartments, and eight two-bedroom apartments.
“There’s a lot of undulation in the face of the building so that each unit feels like it’s a separate residence,” said Karla Middleton, Ware Malcomb project manager.
“When you arrive, you come into an entry canopy. There’s a double sliding door that greets you. You walk in the front door, and there’s a beautiful reception desk and a sitting lobby,” Middleton said.
Amenities include an indoor therapy pool, a 560 square-foot library, a 20-seat movie theater, a beauty salon, a 1,035 square-foot activity room and a 400 square-foot activity room, a fitness center, a 2,200 square-foot bistro, a community kitchen, and a commercial laundry center.
“As residents continue to age, isolation can become an issue so you want to provide as much opportunity as possible for them to engage in a broad community,” Koshley said.
There’s also a 4,640 square-foot courtyard and a 1,860 square-foot courtyard.
“It feels Encinitas. They wanted the building to be an Encinitas building for the people of Encinitas and the people of Rancho Santa Fe,” said Charles Bloom, executive director of Westmont Encinitas.
“This is a hybrid model of assisted living in that we have nurses, LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) round the clock so that the triaging of residents is done by a licensed nurse verses a technician, which many people have,” Bloom said. “It’s well positioned for the Baby Boomers because that’s what we’re going to want when we live in assisted living, we’re going to want that style of living where if you want to be independent, you can do so, but as you age in place, you become more dependent.”
The apartments themselves have full kitchens, and 12 foot-high ceilings, Bloom said.
They range from roughly 400 square feet to 1,200 square feet.
“From a design standpoint, you would put your parents here in a heartbeat,” said Bloom, whose mother lives in Westmont Encinitas. “The wow factor is a 10.”
Westmont Living has no immediate plans to develop additional senior living projects in San Diego County, said Andy Plant, president of Westmont Living.
The company does own land adjacent to Westmont Senior Living that it plans to develop into a senior living project, but Plant said the timing hasn’t been determined.
Westmont Living in October broke ground on a $68 million senior living center on the site of the former Seabreeze Farms Equestrian Center in Carmel Valley with construction expected to finish in the second half of 2023.
The company also owns Westmont Town Court in Escondido, Westmont of La Mesa, and Westmont at San Miguel Ranch in Chula Vista with additional holdings in Fresno, Goleta, Nipomo, Paso Robles, Brentwood, Chico, Morgan Hill, Pinole and Milpitas.
CEO: Ken Wink
San Diego headquarters: Sorrento Valley
Business: Architectural design and engineering firm
Notable: With office locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto and public/institutional facilities and renovation projects.
CEO and Chairman: Michael O’Rourke
Headquarters: La Jolla
Business: Owner and operator of senior living complexes
Notable: The business is family-owned.
The two-story project was designed in a coastal craftsman style using earth tone coloring and white and red cedar accents.