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The other day I learned that a senior apartment building in Northern Virginia, The Marque at Heritage Hunt  had lifted its age restriction.  I spoke with the manager last week and it seems that the primary motivator for this change centered on financing issues that made it more beneficial to make the shift a traditional apartment building.

To my knowledge, this is the first community in the mid-Atlantic region to make a transition like this in my 20 year career, so I am extremely curious to see how this story plays out.

The community has never reached full occupancy, but they do report more inquiries after the change.  Although the first 14 month old child will soon be living in the building, I doubt that there will be an influx of families with children lining up to move in, but you never know. I am very interested in how young families and elders will benefit from this change or complexities that arise in the community.

I actually think that this community will have an easier time attracting the type of resident that they have been targeting since their opening.  I feel that one of the best ways to market a community for seniors is not to have a sign in front that says it’s exclusively for seniors!

A transition like this may be a bit challenging, after all the existing residents bought into the concept of age restrictions when they moved in.  There is sure to be some anxiety in some peoples minds that opening their doors to younger people will dramatically change the community.

I hope to follow the story of this community on this blog. What are your thoughts on this change? Would you like to see this in other communities?

Photo credit: L. Roger Turner an entry in the 2004 Generations United photo contest, click here for more information Generations United and their annual photo contest.

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