As one of the nation’s first—and best—continuing care retirement communities (CCREs), nonprofit Friendship Village in Tempe, Arizona, sets the standard for senior living environments. Built in the 1980s, this pioneering campus was due for revitalization, and knowing the strength of our design leadership, Friendship Village selected Ryan. Given the inherent complexities presented by a landlocked campus with hundreds of residents, service providers and caregivers in place, we embarked on two years of intensive preplanning with the community’s management team, Life Care Services, their highly professional governing board and Friendship Village Tempe staff. We conducted feasibility studies, developed concepts, and navigated challenging entitlement processes, making extensive use of interactive virtual design and construction (VDC), 3-D printing and modeling. We also supported the board through recapitalization decisions, arriving at an updated financial model.
At last, the intricate master plan was greenlighted, and to everyone’s delight, achieved total preleasing before we began. Divided into six phases—one for each building—the first phase called for using an existing car lot to construct one greenfield building with underground parking for independent living. Going forward, this building provides temporary housing for residents as we successively demolish and rebuild the five existing buildings. Since we lack horizontal space to expand, each new building will feature a major amenity on its rooftop. Phase one—providing 40 independent living apartments with high-end finishes and a pickleball court on the roof—is underway.