Saratoga County

Senior housing market grows in Saratoga County

When Beulah Cooper’s husband of 47 years died last year, she was suddenly living at home alone among

When Beulah Cooper’s husband of 47 years died last year, she was suddenly living at home alone among memories of their decades together.

Cooper, 65, had lived with husband Donald at a mobile home park in Halfmoon, but decided after his death to move into MeadowView of Clifton Park, a new apartment complex for low-income seniors.

Now she’s got a standing appointment to play cards every afternoon in the building’s common area, and she’s never alone if she doesn’t want to be. Friends, including Darlene Morehouse, 57, check on Cooper if they haven’t seen her in a few hours.

“This is the first I’ve ever been in public housing,” Cooper said. “I find it much easier to be here because there are always people around.”

Real estate developers, especially in the southern part of the county, are banking on more people like Cooper wanting to live in places with other older adults.

At MeadowView, they were right. Five months after the senior apartments opened on Waite Road just off Route 146, all 70 apartments were full.

Most residents didn’t move far.

“I’d say the great majority of the people here are from Saratoga County,” said Michael Steurer, community manager at MeadowView. “We didn’t have very many transplants from out of the county.”

Some, like Cooper, moved from homes they owned. Morehouse, who has multiple sclerosis and also lost her husband, rented an apartment in Round Lake.


Other residents moved from other seniors-only facilities that were too expensive, as Malcolm and Rita Rosen did last fall, moving from Hollandale Apartments in Clifton Park. They lived in Loudonville until a chain of medical events in 2006 left him wheelchair bound.

“Their apartments are nice, but very, very expensive,” said Malcolm Rosen, 67. Both Rosens are retired human services workers and are living primarily on Social Security.

The last few years have been tough on seniors, who saw their stock market investments tank. Unlike younger people, they don’t have time to wait for the market to bounce back.

“If you had investments, you lost it,” Steurer said.

Other senior housing units have been built in recent years, especially in the southern part of the county. Several others are proposed and in the planning stages.

Not far away from MeadowView, Bentley Condominiums opened two years ago on Wall Street near the Southern Saratoga YMCA, marketing to a more affluent demographic. Baby boomers and seniors can rent or buy the luxury condos, which are selling pretty much on schedule for an average of a little over $200,000 in the 48-unit first phase.

In projects like that, typically developers sell about 18 to 24 units a year, said town planning director John Scavo.

The biggest challenge for developers is that seniors’ current houses are staying on the market longer or not fetching as much money as they’d hoped, delaying their move into new condos, said Donald MacElroy, vice president of DCG Development Co., which developed Bentley.

Around the area, Clifton Park has 371 more units of senior housing proposed — 197 single-family and townhouse units in the Ushers Wood project, 86 townhouses for the Wagner project on Route 146 and 88 apartments for an expansion of Coburg Village.

Halfmoon has 488 units proposed or under way. Construction has started on Bruce Tanski’s Falcon Trace development, which includes 153 luxury senior apartments for rent. The 192 senior apartments proposed in Linden Village on Dunsbach Road are part of a larger development that is in the concept stage.

Officials don’t really know where the limit is on the senior housing market, but they don’t think the area has hit it yet. They are mindful about what could happen if the town approves more of such developments than the market can bear.

Last summer in Milton, developers of an approved 55-and-older condominium development off Northline Road asked the town if they could drop the age requirement for half the units. The homes hadn’t been built, but developers believed the market changed with the economy and retirees not wanting to live in senior-only developments.

T&B Associates partner Gary Bordeau and builder Tom Farone told town officials then they also had trouble selling the 68 senior units in the Knollwood development on Geyser Road.

“I just want to make sure we don’t have that problem here,” Scavo said.


If age projections hold true, Saratoga County’s future will include plenty of seniors as the baby boom generation — those born between 1946 and 1964 — ages.

Several communities in the county, including Clifton Park, Halfmoon and Malta, have a high percentage of senior residents and a growing aging population, as do some other communities.

According to the 2010 census, residents age 65 and over make up 13.9 percent of Clifton Park’s population, up from 10 percent in 2000. That percentage is expected to grow in the coming decades.

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission predicts that by 2040, about 22.6 percent of the town’s population will be over 65.

“It really is a drastic increase over the next 30 years,” said Joanna King, an assistant planner with the commission. Whether individuals will stay in the area or move south to warmer climates remains to be seen.

“As people get older, are they going to choose to stay in New York state?” Scavo asked. If they do, he expects Saratoga County will be popular because of its relatively low tax rates.

Currently, some retirees move south, but many stay here at least part of the year, said Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett.

“People that have lived here a long time maybe have a larger house, they want to downsize, but they don’t want to move out of the community,” Barrett said. “I know people who live here 12 months out of the year; I know people who are half and half; I know people who are here maybe two or three months out of the year.”

Those who consider the area their home or have family here will be more likely to stay. “These factors will continue to drive demand,” Barrett said.

Local municipalities have worked to attract senior housing developments, and developers have responded, Barrett said.

For seniors, Exit 9 area’s shopping centers, the library, YMCA, senior center and nearby health care centers are a draw.

“We have a great deal to offer and it’s a great place to live,” Barrett said.

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