Luxury retirement community opens in River Oaks

The latest retirement community in River Oak wants its residents to feel like they’re living on a luxury cruise ship.

MorningStar Senior Living, located at 2315 Richmond Ave, recently opened the doors to its six-story, 109,150-square-foot property that offers resort-style amenities and hospitality services.

The community has 85 suites for assisted living and 27 suites dedicated to residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

By providing independent, assisted living and memory care options, the management of MorningStar and Hines – the real estate investment firm that co-developed MorningStar – believe it is filling a need in the River Oaks community.

“River Oaks really needed a community like MorningStar,” said MorningStar founder and CEO Ken Jaeger. “People who grew up in River Oaks want to continue living there in their senior years, and their children, similarly, don’t want their parents to move to another suburb.”

“They want the active lifestyle that River Oaks has to offer right there around the block,” Jaeger said.

For between $5,850 and $9,300 per month, MorningStar residents have access to living space between 396 and 1,089 square feet, in a bachelor, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment.

MorningStar features an all-day restaurant-style dining room, “casual bistro”, salon and spa, massage room, fitness center, an art studio, a theatre, a club room for residents to watch sports games and participate in cooking. demos, a sky terrace and a landscaped courtyard.

“As you walk through the community, it’s a world-class property where we’re going to bring life and enrichment to seniors in River Oaks,” Jaeger said. “We will reach [residents] socially and mentally, physically and spiritually.

“When a resident comes in, all of a sudden they’re going to have 50 granddaughters and 50 grandsons because all of our caregivers are part of their family,” Jaeger said.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of older people in the United States is expected to increase significantly, up to 69% by 2060.

“They’re all going to need a really good place to live,” Hines senior general manager John Mooz said.

Mooz said living standards for seniors have changed over the past 15 years, so Hines has imported what they’ve learned from building multi-family spaces into senior living spaces.

According to Mooz, Hines hired Munoz + Albin Planning & Architecture as the design architect for the project, a firm known for its residential and commercial architecture.

“We wanted to bring their skills into the living spaces to marry them with our best operating partner,” Mooz said, “and we think the evidence is in the pudding when you walk around.”

Director of senior living and healthcare for Hines, Meg Meliet, says Munoz + Albin designed a playground for a great sense of arrival, floor-to-ceiling windows, limestone exterior and high ceilings.

“Elements that don’t typically exist in seniors’ residences, we’ve implemented them here,” Meliet said.

Jaeger said MorningStar’s rooftop terrace is a place where residents can truly feel like they’re on a cruise.

“You can go up and have a glass of wine or an ice cold beer and order a cheeseburger, the Houston skyline is right in front of you and it takes your breath away,” Jaeger said. “It will be a place where you find that special place on a cruise ship, where you say ‘this is where I want to relax, morning, afternoon or evening or weekends with the little ones -children’.”

Jaeger said MorningStar’s dining room has a kitchen with chefs who can cook residents filet mignon and some of the best steaks Houston has to offer.

“We like to say we have a hyper-amenity environment wrapped in a benevolent mission,” Mooz said.

MorningStar will host an open house during its opening weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12.

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