CHA Partners, a New Jersey-based full-service healthcare and commercial property development company, launches a new assisted living and skilled care brand, LIVIA. CHA hopes to strike a necessary balance between hospitality and health care and de-stigmatize care modes for a post-Covid consumer.

Bloomfield-based CHA Partners announced the launch of LIVIA with a community in the city of East Hanover, New Jersey consisting of 86 qualified care beds and 37 assisted-living homes. A second community is under development in Totowa, New Jersey, and the company has a third license to land in Monmouth County, Garden State and hopes to begin construction within the next 12 to 18 months, the company said Managing Partner Bill Colgan told Senior Housing News.

LIVIA conveys CHA’s conviction that senior living is firmly rooted as part of the care continuum, but has in some ways shifted too far in the direction of regulatory requirements and the hospitality component needs to come back to the fore.

Colgan also believes that assisted living and skilled nursing have been unfairly portrayed in news reports and by politicians throughout the pandemic, and the brand aims to build a post-Covid image for the industry.

“Our focus is on quality of life while delivering health services,” he said.

LIVIA in the east of Hanover is an adaptive re-use project for a 100,000 square meter office building that is well suited for conversion. The entrance was a glass atrium that opens up inside and out to a spacious public space.

The former offices have now been converted into small communities in which the residents can have their own living and dining rooms in addition to traditional residential facilities for senior citizens such as dining rooms.

The first floor is Main Street with a theater, game room, full-service bar and lounge, beauty spa, fitness center and coffee shop.

“These are all things they’re used to. It enables people to feel like family, ”he said, referring to future residents.

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The design encourages socialization and engagement, and is designed to help ward off depression, which Colgan believes will improve the quality of life and lead to positive health outcomes.

LIVIA in Hanover East also relies on technology. The apartments are equipped with Amazon Echo Show so that residents can communicate with loved ones and employees at any time. A technical concierge is on-site to ensure residents and their families have everything they need to keep in touch through virtual settings.

“[We are using] very good, simple technology because we are dealing with a generation that is not as tech-savvy as the next generation, ”said Colgan.

The second LIVIA facility in Totowa, when it opens in 2022, will include assisted living and qualified nursing as well as memory care, subacute and adult medical day care services, and will be completed later this year. The building is already leased to St. Joseph’s Health. Both projects are part of a 140 hectare planned master’s development in Totowa, which includes a data center and research and development cohorts.

CHA sees potential to grow with the LIVIA brand, but it will be organic. The company’s current focus is on developing and stabilizing the three communities, whether operating or under construction, and then identifying markets where the brand is a good fit. Ultimately, CHA expects to open new LIVIA communities every 12 to 18 months.

“There is clearly a need for qualified care and assisted living facilities, but quality of life is more than just meeting your health needs,” said Colgan.