2Life Communities Breaks Ground at Opus Newton, New Middle-Income Senior Living Option
174-apartment development breaks ground a year ahead of schedule, establishes framework to help address growing need.
2Life Communities has broken ground at Opus Newton, a middle-income senior living development that the organization's leaders believe is a promising model to help address the growing need for middle-income senior living across the country. The groundbreaking takes place a year ahead of schedule, with 95% of the 174 available apartments already pre-sold, a remarkable feat in today's business development environment.
"The way we view aging is shifting and so should the care and living options surrounding it," said 2Life President and CEO Amy Schectman. "Opus prioritizes affordability, community and not only aging in place, but aging in the right place. This model brings a breakthrough prototype to both our region and the nation, confronting the largely unaddressed dearth of middle-market senior living options for what we call 'the forgotten middle.' We want this framework to be adopted by other organizations, and we're here to guide and support them along the way."
State and city leaders including Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Massachusetts) and Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller were on hand for the momentous occasion.
"We know so many individuals in our lives are making choices about where to live based on the high cost of housing," said Driscoll. "Let's make those choices easier. Let's allow people to live and grow and age with dignity in the communities they love. This is a thrilling day for Newton. Let's make sure we can have more thrilling days across this Commonwealth. Congratulations to 2Life."
Located next to 2Life's Coleman House on the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Greater Boston campus, Opus offers middle-income seniors an energizing retirement alternative where they can remain close to the neighborhoods and people they love. 2Life partnered with the JCC to offer an intergenerational living experience and allow them to tap into the vibrant surrounding neighborhood.
The unprecedented demand for the Opus model speaks to a larger national obligation to address what 2Life refers to as the "middle-market abyss," an often-overlooked issue in which middle-income seniors can't afford to live independently with market-rate options, but do not qualify for subsidized housing. As the middle-income senior population is expected to double to 10.8 million individuals and comprise 54% of older adults by 2029, Opus is an innovative, welcoming, and affordable space for residents to live in comfort and community for their full lives in a market that otherwise fails middle-income older adults.
"Massachusetts faces a housing crisis, and projects like Opus Newton that is creating 174 apartments for seniors bring us an important step forward in easing the housing burden for Greater Boston and for Massachusetts," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. "MassDevelopment is proud to be supporting this project with $130 million in tax-exempt bond financing."
To maintain affordability, Opus leverages residents' home equity and offers a range of apartments to accommodate different living styles and pricing needs. Rather than move residents to care, the model brings care to residents within their own apartments, supported by a team of care navigators, advocates and trusted providers.
Opus builds on 2Life's "aging in community" model, marrying affordable, independent living with a communal lifestyle. The model also incorporates resident-driven volunteerism, enabling residents to remain active members of their communities by volunteering approximately 10 hours a month, alongside programming and amenities. The campus will feature a restaurant, café, art studio, classroom, fitness spaces, and holistic wellness programming.
2Life hopes to expand the Opus model across Greater Boston and is actively seeking partnerships with like-minded organizations to bring this much-needed model to new communities. 2Life encourages organizations nationwide to embrace this prototype and address a fast-growing issue, hoping to act as consultants for those interested in the model.
Construction is slated to be completed by summer 2025, with pricing starting in the low $400,000s and a focus on maintaining low monthly fees. For more information, visit 2lifeopus.org.