Sage Senior Living sees growth in region
The company opened Daylesford Crossing in Paoli last year; has plans for a large facility in Atwater near Malvern
As far back as she can remember, Kelly Andress has had a passion for senior living environments. She and her young family even moved into one to survive the last real estate recession.
Now, with the market stabilized, she’s quietly building an area stable of senior living communities that includes the opening of Daylesford Crossing in Paoli last year and the planned groundbreaking for a $60 million, 250-apartment property in Atwater, the mixed use center near Malvern.
“We’d like to grow by one or two a year,” she said of her Sage Senior Living, based in Springfield, Delaware County, that she runs with her husband, Michael Andress, and Vice President Kim Smith.
There are currently about 550 residents and 450 employees across four Sage properties. Occupancy at all communities is over 90 percent, the company said.
The properties are:
“Study after study has shown the benefits of people being around one’s own peer group.” – Sage Senior Living CEO Kelly Andress
• The Maples at Towson in Towson, Maryland, which opened in 1994 and has 59 apartments;
• Plush Mills in Wallingford, Delaware County, opened 2007 with 157 apartments;
• Daylesford Crossing in Paoli at the site of the former Jimmy Duffy & Sons Caterers, which opened August 2015 with 78 apartments;
• Kyffin Grove in Horsham, Montgomery County, formerly a Solana property, which was acquired in September 2016 and has 76 apartments;
The 25-acre Atwater on Route 29 near the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange will include walking trails, 5,000 square feet of physical therapy space and medical offices, seven dining venues, class-
room spaces and an underground parking garage. The groundbreaking is tentatively planned for March with the opening expected in late 2018. It will contain 160 independent living apartments and 90 assisted living and memory care apartments.
It will incorporate the Sage philosophy that senior citizens are healthier when they age in a communal atmosphere rather than aging in place in their homes.
“We believe isolation will kill you as fast as sugar and salt,” Andress said. “Study after study has shown the benefits of people being around one’s own peer group.”
Andress was raised on a 4,000-acre farm in Southern California’s Imperial Valley.
After graduating from George Washington University, she started her career with Sunrise Senior Living, where she served as vice president of finance and development from 1989 to 1994. Since then, she has been closely involved in the development of more than 20 communities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic; developing, acquiring and operating senior communities at all levels of independence and care.
In 2007, as the economy collapsed, the Andresses – mom, dad, two children and the dog – moved into one of their senior communities, Plush Mills in Wallingford, so they could lease their house and ride out the downturn.
“The school bus used to pull up in the morning and our kids would get on and they would go to school,” Andress, 50, recalled with a laugh. “And then in the afternoons four kids would get off the bus because some of the grandparents were watching them after school. Our daughter always says she had 100 grandparents.
“It was a wonderful experience,” she said. “I know what that transition is like – to go through the lobby instead of the garage (to get into your house). I know what it’s like when someone you know passes – that power of collective support.”
With the number of older adults in Pennsylvania now exceeding 2.1 million — the fifth-highest of any state in the country — Andress believes the Sage product will continue to be in demand.
The stuffy, Victorian model is out and bright living spaces are in, she said. The lobby at Daylesford Crossing has the feel of a hotel with a concierge, a bar, a café and common spaces. Andress refers to Daylesford as “a cruise ship with a small hospital in it.”
The rents at Daylesford Crossing range from $3,500 a month to $7,000 a month for residents who need medical assistance.
“This is purely rental,” she said. “There is no big up front entrance fee keeping our residents here. We have to keep them happy – and that’s the way we like it.”
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Daylesford Crossing residents enjoy a bridge game in the community area.
Sage Senior Living CEO Kelly Andress speaks about Daylesford Crossing in one of the residences.
The Daylesford Crossing community area includes a plant wall.
The common area at Daylesford Crossing. The community television area at Daylesford Crossing.
Cafe-style seating is available for meals anytime at Daylesford Crossing.