COSTA MESA, CA-Vivante on the Coast, the first new luxury retirement community to be built in the Newport Mesa area of Orange County in 20 years, is set to open tomorrow, October 15. As reported in February, the communitywon three Best of 50+ Housing awards at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas this year.

What makes Vivante stand out in particular are the LEED-certified community’s amenities, Cory Alder, president of Vivante’s development company Nexus Cos., tells The amenities take up more than 31,000 square feet of space.

“We’ve created an exhibition kitchen so our residents get to see, smell and participate in the culinary experience,” says Alder. “It’s run like a high-end restaurant, which is what our customers are used to. We’ve budgeted considerably more on raw food costs per day than the industry average. We want to deliver a very special culinary experience for the residents.”

In addition, the community features a complete fitness and physical therapy facility with an indoor saltwater pool, four large outdoor courtyards, rooftop deck with ocean views, game room, Fun Zone, dog park and progressive programming to encourage a social and active lifestyle for residents. “Today’s retiree expects more,” says Curt Olson, founder and CEO of Nexus Cos. “We did our research to build a community that fits the Orange County lifestyle for the 55-plus generation. We’re bringing together the best in active lifestyle choices; contemporary, California-centric design, state-of-the-art technology and a better integration of healthcare into a quality luxury retirement community.”

Alder tells the fitness center is reminiscent of those in Orange County’s better hotels, but it’s “designed for seniors so they can easily operate the equipment, which can be intimidating for seniors, especially those who have ailments.”

Also featured are a state-of-the-art movie theater, a crow’s nest and a full bar with dancing, pool tables, four TVs and a beer tap. “We’ve created so many amenity spaces, both indoor and outdoor,” says Alder. “Our customers are used to country clubs and fine dining, and we wanted to create something very similar for them. The feedback is that we have indeed accomplished that. People are taking notice of that; it’s what makes us different.”

Vivante on the Coast’s lobby is decorated to appeal to the sophisticated tastes of its target customers.
Consisting of 185 total residences, including 40 residences dedicated to a secure memory-care facility located within the property, Vivante is located a half-mile from Hoag Hospital. The community encompasses nearly 200,000 square feet of space on a 7-acre, gated, private campus.

The firm also builds Vivante with an “age in place” mentality for its residents. “We built a concrete building here, but we made all of the units adaptable,” says Alder. “It’s already a difficult move for a senior to leave home. Psychologically, to make that jump is difficult for them, but as you age through life, things change. If you need a wheelchair or assistance with mobility, we made the units adaptable. You can take the shower doors off and make it ADA accessible. It wasn’t cheap, but this is important for residents in the long term so that if they make the move, they wouldn’t need to again.”

Alder says he hasn’t seen anything like Vivante in an Orange County rental community. I haven’t seen anything of this quality and breadth of amenities.”

Next on the drawing board for Nexus is a Vivante in Palm Springs, which should break ground in Spring 2013. Alder says the firm is considering other locations for the Vivante brand as well. “The Vivante brand is very important to us. We’re looking at high-income and high barriers-to-entry markets.”

One thing Nexus doesn’t consider is adaptive reuse for its Vivante projects. “Our model doesn’t take to an older building without the same breadth of amenities,” says Alder.