COSTA MESA, CA-A state-of-the-art retirement community designed to meet the active lifestyle and healthcare needs of Orange County’s aging population is a unique concept for this market, but that’s what developer Nexus Cos. intends for Vivante on the Coast to be. The nearly 200,000-square-foot community, which broke ground here this week and is estimated to cost $62 million to build, has already pre-leased 39 units and is drawing interest from local investors.

Located at 1640 Monrovia Ave., Vivante will be the first new retirement community built in the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area in 15 years. It was envisioned by Nexus to provide a luxurious community experience featuring an exquisite culinary program with a variety of superior dining options, a complete fitness and physical therapy facility with an indoor saltwater pool, large outdoor courtyards, rooftop decks and other resort-style amenities and programming.

The community sits on a 4.5-acre gated private campus and includes over 31,000 square feet of indoor amenity space. It was recently given the Innovation Award for Best CCRC or Independent/Assisted Living by the National Association of Home Builders and an award for rebranding aging by the International Council on Active Aging.

The Vivante team worked on the design with Hill Partnership Inc., a Newport Beach, CA-based architecture firm, and Austin-based senior-living interior-design experts Studio Six 5. Wellness amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa, daily group exercises, yoga deck, massage therapy, serenity garden and reflexology foot path, putting green and bocce-ball court.

“Vivante will be a unique experience in luxury retirement living, as we’ve incorporated many of the new ideas in fitness, healthcare, technology and lifestyle that appeal to the demands of our growing aging population, especially here in Orange County,” says Curt Olson, CEO and founder of Nexus. “Our local community expects more out of their retirement, and they deserve it.”

Olson says the developer has taken advantage of new trends to create an ideal environment for residents that is welcoming and comfortable for the whole family.

“We think the time has come to create a community that embraces the aging segment of our population and gives them the lifestyle they deserve,” says Nexus president Cory Alder.

The team behind Vivante consists of longtime coastal Orange County residents who recognized the need for a luxury retirement option in their community, and they have been actively marketing it. Of the $62 million total project cost, the team raised $22 million from the local investment community, further reinforcing the high value of the concept to those who live in Orange County. The additional $40 million construction loan was financed by Bank of the West and included participants such as Bank of America and Bank of Texas.

“The response to Vivante has been overwhelming,” says Beth Otterbein, RN, Vivante’s director of sales and marketing. “When people walk into the Vivante leasing office, they know immediately that we’re creating something special. And the response to our pre-leasing has shown that we are hitting the right chord with local families by creating a luxurious, well-appointed home for our seniors.”

Alder tells that a great percentage of our population started to turn 65 last year, which is creating a large demand for retirement housing. “There are limited options in Orange County, and much of what exists is outdated.”

Alder adds that the coastal areas of Orange County especially are affluent and expect quality. “We have designed a community with extensive amenities. Our staff has years of experience, we have nurses onsite 24/7 and we are located half a mile from Hoag Hospital.”

Vivante has attracted strong interest from local investors because they recognize what Nexus has seen in terms of changing demographics and a lack of high-quality new product, Alder continues. “Many of them have lived here for many years, and they have researched and experienced the senoir housing optons available here for their own families. They understand the trends driving demand for this new community and see it as the best option for retirement-age people.”

The property will feature 185 total residences including a variety of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans. Most options come complete with full kitchens, walk-in closets, spacious bathrooms, glass- and metal-enclosed outdoor patios and individual washer/dryers. Suites will feature stainless-steel appliances, solid-wood cabinetry, CaesarStone countertops, Grohe fixtures and Porcelanosa tile.

Dining venues will include diverse fine dining, café and lounge options featuring elegant, yet comfortable, atmospheres and fresh, local ingredients. “We visited our favorite local restaurants and sought ways to incorporate much of what we enjoy right here on the coast into the Vivante dining experience,” says Olson.

Another significant part of the community is The Shores at Vivante on the Coast, a secure memory-care facility located within the property, featuring 40 individual residences. The Shores is designed as a safe, home-like environment with its own separate dining areas, fitness room, specialized daily programming, walking paths and a private rooftop deck.

Vivante benefits from a coastal location—offering residents golf, shopping, galleries, restaurants and the beach—and strategic half-mile proximity to Hoag Hospital. The team has joined the hospital’s vital aging program, a multi-disciplinary program involving community residents, county organizations and various physician and industry partners. The goal of the program is to help people maintain a healthy brain for life.

Alder tells that Hoag Hospital recently completed the Hoag Health Center Newport Beach, located on Superior Ave. between Vivante’s project site and Hoag Hospital . The new center provides a wide array of outpatient health services including an urgent-care facility. Also, Coastline Community College is currently under construction, with its Newport Beach Learning Center at the corner of 15th St. and Monrovia, down the street from the project site. This new learning center will offer a diverse curriculum of classes, computer labs, degrees and activities in which all ages can participate.

Alder also tells that CW Driver will handle construction for the project, and Integral Senior Living will manage it in combination with Nexus Senior Management Services Inc., which will handle the marketing and advertising efforts.

Nexus’ ability to develop successful properties has been shown in the past. As previously reported, in December 2010 the company transformed Bell Towne Centre and Bell Towne Plaza in Phoenix from an outdated center with increasing vacancy to an $80-million thriving retail destination. The final pieces of the five-year metamorphosis were new leases with LA Fitness and Toys “R” Us and a complex refinancing.

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