Construction has started on Edencrest at Timberline, an 80-unit full-service senior living community in Urbandale. Rendering courtesy of Hubbell Realty Co.

Construction has started on Edencrest at Timberline, the seventh senior living community developed by Hubbell Realty Co. in the Des Moines area.

The 80-unit facility, located northeast of the roundabout at 142nd Avenue and Douglas Parkway in Urbandale, will offer independent living homes and assisted living and memory care units.

Construction of Edencrest at Timberline, an estimated $20.2 million development, is expected to be completed by spring 2023. The facility will include a library, dining hall, outdoor patio and fitness center as well as other shared community spaces. It will also include outdoor walking trails.

“Coming out of COVID, the senior housing market is stronger than ever,” said Tim Portzen, a Hubbell Realty development associate. “I think [the pandemic] helped people realize how important community is – especially for people who are older.”

Iowa has more than 337,000 residents who are considered baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, according to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Half of those residents, or nearly 172,000 people, will be 65 by 2030.

In addition, 141,300 of the state’s baby boomers live in Polk, Dallas, Story and Warren counties, according to census data.

The growing population of people 65 and older means continued demand for senior living communities like Edencrest, located in Altoona, Ankeny, Johnston, Norwalk and Des Moines, which has two facilities, Portzen said.

Occupancy rates at the facilities, which are managed by Jaybird Senior Living, range from 85% to 97%.

“We’ve been trying to pepper the metro" with the facilities, Portzen said. “We’re going to continue to try and get good coverage across the area.”

He said Hubbell could continue to build at least one Edencrest facility a year, depending on demand.

 Edencrest developments “are a key part of our portfolio,” Portzen said. “Do we do one a year? Two a year? Do we do them in Des Moines? Do we do them elsewhere? I don’t have an answer for that. But I do think they are something we will continue doing.”

Edencrest at Tuscany, the Altoona facility that opened in the summer, was the first of Hubbell’s developments to include independent living, Portzen said. “The independent living component gives you more of a continuing care retirement center feel … where you can grow your services.”

Edencrest’s independent living component is different from that of other continuing care facilities, which require buy-ins from residents. Edencrest residents pay monthly rental fees, Portzen said.

In the past year or so, Hubbell Realty has sold some of the projects it has developed, including warehouses and apartment buildings. Asked if Hubbell would consider selling its Edencrest properties, Portzen said: “We’re always evaluating what’s the best value proposition for our investors.

“The Edencrest properties are a little bit different in the sense that they’re a branded portfolio, which we typically don’t do with our apartments. … I don't have a crystal ball, but if you did see these go, it would probably be as a portfolio, and that would take more time" to put together.

Photo above: A drone photo of the recently completed Edencrest at Tuscany in Altoona, located at 1600 Eighth St. S.E. Photo provided by Hubbell Realty Co.

Related: Read more about senior housing developments in the Des Moines area.