Element Lifestyle Retirement reunites dream team to build new projects and offer consulting services
VANCOUVER, BC. Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. publicly announces its launch as a developer and operator of retirement communities today. Under the leadership of Don Ho, the pioneer of the aging-in-place retirement living concept, Element has reassembled the successful team behind Ho’s last company CPAC (Care) Holdings Ltd. which was sold to Chartwell Seniors Housing Real Estate Investment Trust in 2005 in a purchase valued at over $100 million.
Element’s executive team of senior living industry experts has more than 20 years of experience in developing, operating and cultivating leadership for senior residences across North America. The new company is currently developing two retirement communities valued at more than $290 million and has started development on a third in Ontario.
With its dream team of industry leaders, Element has the advantage of entering the market with a pre-established reputation for success in the industry. In addition to developing its own retirement communities Element offers development and management consulting services to companies starting up retirement communities. Element is present in BC and Ontario where it is offering management consulting services for a total of 1219 units.
“I’m thrilled to be working with my original team to pursue my greatest passion of providing quality care and accommodations for seniors,” says Don Ho, founder and president of Element Lifestyle Retirement Inc. “Senior living can encompass a range of lifestyle options. Our focus is on cultivating an environment that facilitates a high quality of life and I believe we are equipped to do this better than anyone else in Canada.”
Element is currently developing two seniors residences in BC, ‘Opal’ in Vancouver and ‘Oasis’ in Langley. Opal is in the final development approval stage, and represents Element’s proud flagship residence spanning an entire city block in the vibrant Cambie Village. Located in the core of Vancouver’s premier West Side area, with courtyard and rooftop patios, it enjoys views of downtown and mountains toward the north, and Queen Elizabeth Park towards the south. It will be valued at $90 million upon stabilization of the operation. Opal encompasses the complete continuum of lifestyles, from Independent Living and Assisted Living rental and condominium suites, to Memory Care and Licensed Complex Care.
Element has recently been recognized internationally with a prestigious Globals Award, given out to the world’s best performers in Over 50s Housing. The company was selected for this honour for its progressive, sustainable village, Oasis. A $200-300 million master-planned intergenerational community with a retirement focus in the Township of Langley, Oasis will be the first property in the Township to realize the Official Community Plan’s support for high-density development.
The company is also pursuing new-build acquisitions and property conversions across the country, with the long-term goal of expanding into Asian and beyond.
Element’s strong backbone of industry knowledge and expertise is evidenced by the success of CPAC. Ho and the Trans City Group founded CPAC in 1995. Before the company sold to Chartwell Seniors Housing Real Estate Investment Trust in 2005, it had a portfolio of eight properties and close to 600 employees. It generated record pre-opening sales and operating occupancy levels. Annual revenues were in excess of $26 million. CPAC (Care) Holdings Ltd. was sold to Chartwell REIT at $102.6 million. The deal granted Chartwell the title of the biggest owner of seniors housing in BC.
In addition to developing and operating its own residences, Element’s major growth platform is managing for other operators. Element offers management consulting services to companies starting up or improving its retirement communities. Experienced in partnering with residences and offering tailored services in management, development and operations for short- and long-term contracts, its early business efforts are concentrated on expansion across Canada, serving wherever there is need, and focusing on the provinces of BC and Ontario.
“We recently took over a community in the Lower Mainland that was underperforming. In six months we grew occupancy by 25 per cent, which is unheard of,” says Lisa Kachur, chief operating officer at Element. “The secret to our success is our leadership and development operations, which is complemented by our industry knowledge.”
Statistics Canada predicts that by 2031, the year in which the youngest baby boomers will reach age 65, close to one in four people in Canada will be aged 65 years or over. While Canada undergoes a major demographic shift and enters an era of a rapidly aging population, Element helps cater to the needs of the booming market through offering an entire spectrum of lifestyle options. Element delivers a holistic approach to wellness through diverse services and amenities in Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Complex Care, offering programming designed to enrich lives and support much more than only physical and mental health.
Further demonstrating Ho’s lifelong commitment to the industry, Ho founded a non-profit organization, the British Columbia Retirement Communities Association (BCRCA), in 2002. BCREA, now called BCSLA (BC Senior Living Association) represents 153 owners and operators of assisted living retirement communities in BC that are shaping the senior living industry.