The property of a beloved senior community here is set to undergo a major transformation at the capable hands of Plaza Companies and Freedom Senior Management, putting it on a path to prosperity—and raising the standard of living for the hundreds of seniors who will call it home—for decades to come.
The move to improve the property—with rehabilitation of the interior and exterior of buildings and of the landscape—means seniors will have better living options in Glendale and will make Glendale an even more attractive option for seniors living in and around the Valley.
Thunderbird Senior Living, which was formerly Thunderbird Retirement Resort until being purchased by ROC Seniors in December 2014, is an independent retirement community located one block north of Thunderbird Road on 53rd Avenue in Glendale, strategically located between Arizona State University at the West campus and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.
Freedom Senior Management will operate the facility and Plaza Companies will perform the comprehensive renovation of the campus, which will be executed in phases so as to cause the least amount of disruption as possible. The community campus, totaling 7.9 acres, contains 13 buildings for 339 residences and currently houses 306 seniors. The campus boasts activity rooms, dining room, library, beauty salon and barbershop and a pool, among other designated spaces and its courtyards house ponds, fountains and brooks.
Specifics for the new vision and new plans for the campus will be unveiled at a later date but the planned property improvements will include both aesthetic and infrastructure changes designed to bring the buildings and courtyards up to the highest standards. Orcutt Winslow, rated the #1 architecture firm by Phoenix Business Journal, will be the architect for the project. Dimora Design, a full-service interior design firm, will perform the interior design work for the project.
Freedom Senior Management has served the needs of over 10,000 residents and managed more than 3,000 employees. The company, based in Sarasota, Fla., has been instrumental in the market evaluation, design, financing, development, building and operation of senior communities in Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The buyer, Orlando-based senior housing and medical office real estate company ROC Seniors, invests in senior housing and medical office real estate across the U.S. and is part of the Bridge Investment Group Partners managed family of real estate funds and investments. Its principals have more than 20 years of success in the seniors housing sector.
“With the purchase of Thunderbird Retirement Resort, we have the opportunity to improve this community by enhancing its amenities, its service and its level of care,” said Phil Anderson, Chief Investment Officer at ROC Seniors. “We have the fortune of having great partners like Plaza Companies, Freedom Senior Living and the City of Glendale to ensure this community will thrive for decades to come.”
Sharon Harper, President and CEO of Plaza Companies, said that the combination of Freedom Senior Management’s expertise in building and maintaining senior communities and Plaza’s vast experience in constructing and managing senior living facilities is a recipe for improving the Glendale campus.
“We are thrilled with the partnerships created here,” Harper said. “ROC Seniors has deep industry expertise and rightly expects its communities to flourish. This senior community is located strategically in the City of Glendale, which has what is needed for sustainable growth.”
Steven Roskamp, a Partner with Freedom Senior Management, said, “We know what it takes to build, develop, manage, and in this case, rebuild, senior communities. All the communities we have worked with over the years continue to operate successfully. That’s because we have a deep reservoir of experience to guide us. That will be the case in Glendale as well and we look forward to the work we will perform at Thunderbird Senior Living alongside our expert partners, Plaza Companies.”
Brian Friedman, Economic Development Director for the City of Glendale, said the project fits well within Glendale’s framework of goals, of creating a dynamic city that offers opportunities to keep healthy and active while living in a safe community. “Glendale has a range of lifestyle options from dozens of recognized parks and trails, community classes and higher education opportunities to golf courses, renowned healthcare, shopping and arts and culture. The comprehensive renovation of Thunderbird Senior Living — guided by the leadership and expertise of Plaza Companies and Freedom Senior Management — is ideal because it fits our vision precisely and will attract and retain seniors for years to come.”