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Yet again, specialty design and community build experts Nautical Lands Group are reshaping the future of 55-plus senior living
Our concept of aging gracefully has morphed from the gentility of the rocking chair to the vitality of the rock wall. Expectations of retirement living have shifted accordingly as the primary focus on health in advancing age has recalibrated toward wellness rather than simple survival.
In this decade, nearly all baby boomers will become seniors, if they aren’t already. By 2036, roughly 10 million Canadians will have reached retirement age, armed with modern attitudes about congregate living and seeking new forever homes in communities that balance lifestyle with flexible services, and the Nautical Lands Group of Companies is welcoming them.
One of the most renowned senior living development firms in North America, Ontario-based NLGC is navigating this directional change from their comfort zone on the leading edge of retirement community design and construction. Pioneers in creating non-traditional retirement environments with a design-forward atrium-style architectural presence, NLGC has been anticipating the changing needs of retirees for over 30 years.
“The ability to be nimble is the high-water mark in our industry,” said company president Kevin Pidgeon. With the vast majority of boomers entering the senior housing market in 2025 to 2035, more communities are needed to accommodate them. “The rush is on to try and build an already underserved market that will become an inordinately underserved market by 2025 and will continue to be until 2035,” he said.
That flexibility has resulted in the creation of their newest offering, Wellings, progressive, pro-age communities for independent adults who don’t need or desire home care but want to shed the burdens of house upkeep, condo fees, and taxes. The amenity-rich environments are built around NLGC’s maintenance-free Carefreedom Living® concept, where opportunities for fun, activity, and enrichment abound and resident’s schedules are theirs alone to keep. A la carte services enable residents to pay for ancillary resources, at their leisure.
“We’ve really honed in on the Wellings model because we feel the market is going to far exceed the supply, and ours is a very innovative model,” said Pidgeon. The philosophy powering the Wellings movement is that when proper fitness and activity opportunities are available in 55-plus communities, the need for care is significantly reduced or eliminated. “People will stay young longer, and as a result their health will remain uncompromised for a longer period in their lives,” he postulated.
NLGC presently has seven Wellings properties in operation, as well as two traditional retirement offerings. While the majority of Wellings properties are currently in Ontario, NLGC is advancing throughout Alberta, adding a 275-unit community in the Trinity Hills suburb of Calgary to their existing properties. On track to open in 2023, the “Wellings Plus” community offers one- and two-bedroom residences ranging in size from 650 to 1,400 square feet equipped with full kitchens, independent HVAC, and underground parking. There’s also a 24-hour concierge service, a licensed pub, and a dining room.
To the east, Wellings Plus communities are found in suburban Ottawa. A new 350-unit development in Whitby is scheduled to open its doors in 2023.
NLGC’s mid-market offerings, four-story timber-frame buildings with 75 units in each, are strategically located in popular places to retire, including Corunna and Picton, Ontario, lauded as one of the best places to retire in Canada for its natural beauty, relaxed vibe, and close proximity to Ottawa and Toronto.
Townhomes round out the Wellings properties, built in blocks of four, five, and six, one-story bungalows that house up to six villas from 750 to 1,000 sq. ft. The ability to park in each unit’s private driveway is a much appreciated plus in this market, as Wellings communities are built to satisfy the living style of people who prefer to be at ground level. Community clubhouse with fitness classes, appliances, parking, and radiant floor heating throughout, is just the beginning.
“We noticed that in markets like Waterford and Winchester, Ontario, where two of the properties are, there’s an appetite for that because a lot of those people grew up on farms or small communities and they have no interest in getting on an elevator to get to their front door,” Pidgeon explained. Contractor ASL helped realize that vision in Winchester. "Our Wellings of Winchester project benefited by the tremendous relationship with ASL and their nimble and innovative team," he said.
Plans are underway to establish Wellings walk-up townhome communities in five additional markets starting this spring.
To take better advantage of Canada’s short building seasons and better support their eastern Ontario region, NLGC built its own paneling factory in partnership with HOMAG. The move is shaving 30% from construction time. “It’s a more graceful solution to framing the building, and as you can imagine the guys are much happier using the automated machinery to put the panels together in the factory than they ever would be standing out in minus-40 degrees with the wind howling, trying to hammer two-by-fours together with a pair of mittens on,” he said.
With 19 Wellings projects in various stages of completion, NGLC is partnering with general contractors Laurin and Company to build the 15- to 18-story cast-in-concrete structures that are a hallmark of NGLC’s urban developments. “Laurin is one of the best in the industry, and their partnership enables us to focus our attention on the design and operational components of those projects,” he concluded. That attention is perfectly placed, creating new realities for epic retirement living experiences.
Founded by CEO Kirk Hoppner over 30 years ago, NLG is an independent, all-inclusive company with extensive experience in land acquisition, planning, finance, construction and operations within the over-50 healthcare residential sector.
Our Wellings communities are globally awarded for both design and concept, embracing an ageless mindset, providing increased lifestyle choices in affordable communities that are overflowing with amenities and designed for Carefreedom® Living without care.
At Wellings your schedule is your own, and you pay only for the services you choose to use.
Nautical Lands Group
2962 Carp Road
Carp, ON K0A 1L0