The first residents are moving into Engel Burman's "summer camp for seniors"-style assisted living community in Bethpage — the Jericho developer's 16th such residence in the region.
The state gave Engel Burman final clearance to open The Bristal at Bethpage in mid-August, according to president Jan Burman. The 152-unit development has studios, one-bedrooms and a few two-bedroom apartments, with monthly rents that start at $6,500. Leases come with meals, snacks, assistance with daily activities like taking medication, social events and space to meet privately with doctors, Burman said. Monthly rents reach about $9,000 in the 40-unit Reflections Memory Care area, where staff provide more care for those with Alzheimer's disease or other memory-related cognitive disorders.
"It's really like summer camp for adults," Burman said, noting that the Bethpage area had demand for The Bristal Assisted Living-branded development. "We're constantly studying where our residents come from, and we found that this particular area of Nassau County was pretty much underserved … We have quite a few people who are moving in right away, so it certainly proves out that we were correct."
So far about 30 people have settled into the Bethpage residence, located at 1075 Stewart Ave. Burman expects the $62 million development to be 95 or 96% full within 18 months, which he said would mirror the occupancy rates in nearby Bristal communities. At that point, the residence will likely employ about 120 to 125 people, Burman said.
The Bristal Assisted Living communities don't have formal age restrictions, but tend to draw people in their older years, Burman said. He estimated that 25 to 30% of the apartments are rented by couples.
"The average age is in the 80s. It's unusual to get someone who is much younger than the late 70s," Burman said. "Sometimes you get a person with early onset dementia and they might move in in their 60s."
He said Engel Burman had thousands of additional homes in the pipeline on Long Island, including The Seasons at Dix Hills, an 86-condo development for people age 55 or older; the 200-condo Isla Blu project in Long Beach; and the 238-apartment The Breeze residence in Long Beach.
"We're building about 140 [condos] in Northport," he said. "And we also now are expanding into Virginia and Florida."