Senior co-op residents to be picked by lottery
A proposed waterfront senior housing cooperative to be named Zvago Superior Shore may fill before the developer moves so much as a shovel of dirt. With more would-be residents than space available in the 51-unit building, Tim Nichols, a partner i...
A proposed waterfront senior housing cooperative to be named Zvago Superior Shore may fill before the developer moves so much as a shovel of dirt. With more would-be residents than space available in the 51-unit building, Tim Nichols, a partner in OneTwoOne Development, decided a lottery would be the fairest way to determine who will move in to the new building to be constructed at 3900 London Road in Duluth.
OneTwoOne, based in Shoreview, Minn., received more than 100 inquiries about the availability of units in the building before ever marketing it, said Nichols, who met with many of those people during a Wednesday afternoon gathering at the Kitchi Gammi Club.
He aims to collect the names of interested parties through Wednesday and then enter those names in a random drawing.
Zvago has a different target market than many other conventional senior cooperatives, namely people in their 60s, a group Nichols refers to as “younger empty nesters.”
“It’s a niche that previously didn’t have a lot of good options for owner-occupied housing,” he said, noting that many of these folks want to downsize their homes but feel a deep attachment to the neighborhood.
The proposed 4-story building overlooking Lake Superior will be the fourth senior cooperative to operate under the Zvago name, with sister properties in Minnetonka and St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood, and another under construction in Apple Valley.
The Duluth building is expected to cost $15 million to $20 million and will be located next door to the Ecumen senior campus.
Ecumen will be more than a neighbor. The same nonprofit is also an investor, as it joined forces with Lifestyle Communities to launch Zvago.
Zvago’s business model calls for a building to be at least 60 percent pre-sold before construction can begin, said Dena Meyer, Ecumen’s vice president of sales, marketing and client relations.
That’s a bar the Duluth project should have absolutely no problem clearing by a long shot, based on the initial market response, Nichols said.
According to initial estimates, Meyer said units in the Duluth Zvago are expected to sell from about $95,000 to $195,000 for a two-bedroom lake-facing unit with a den. Residents also will pay monthly member fees.
Nichols likened the building to a boutique hotel but said residents will find it “defined by vast community space that’s really an extension of the home they’re buying.”
Common areas will include places to socialize, a wellness center equipped with workout machines, raised gardens and a makerspace that will be tailored to residents’ interests, whether those be woodworking, painting, pottery, quilt-making or what have you.
Nichols said residents often form relationships with one another and strengthen them through shared activities.
“We find that people live better as part of a community than they do in isolation. They generally feel better and and they live healthier lives. We say that our buildings are about living first, not just housing,” he said.