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As seen in the Washington Business Journal

Kisco Senior Living’s new D.C. facility, The Fitzgerald of Palisades, is slated to open in fall 2024.


By Sara Gilgore – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal

Feb 20, 2024

A West Coast senior living provider is building a 139-room luxury facility in D.C., its second in Greater Washington, as the company sees big opportunity in this market to capitalize on rising demand.

Carlsbad, California-based Kisco Senior Living will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care services for seniors at the 185,360-square-foot facility under construction at 4865 MacArthur Blvd. NW. in the Palisades.

The company, which already operates The Carnegie at Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg, continues to see interest in that type of upscale community for elderly residents, Gene Smallwood, vice president of operations for Kisco, told me in an interview.

There’s always going to be demand for this type of product. It’s a discerning customer in D.C. that has a heightened level of expectations, and we know that Kisco offers this type of product better arguably than most in the industry,” Smallwood said. “We felt it was a perfect match.”

The Fitzgerald of Palisades is under development at 4865 MacArthur Blvd. NW.   KISCO SENIOR LIVING / THE FITZGERALD OF PALISADES

The new building is slated to deliver this summer, according to Bill Brewer, senior vice president with Trammell Crow Co., the project’s developer. Kisco has an ownership stake and will manage the facility.

Kisco declined to disclose its investment or ownership stake, and Trammell Crow declined to disclose the project cost.

Once construction is complete, Kisco intends to apply for a license with D.C.’s Department of Health — and, per an approval, is targeting a fall debut, Smallwood told me.

A Safeway location previously occupied the site. It was the grocer’s oldest location on the East Coast when it shuttered in 2019. Once it closed, Trammell Crow bought the land and demolished the structure later that year. The new building will also have a retail component currently available for lease, Brewer said.

The Fitzgerald aims to create a luxury living experience — a model that hinges on its location, customer service, culinary options, programming and events, Smallwood said. “We recognized pretty early on that the Fitzgerald’s demographic, the residents and the demand of the D.C. market fits that model.”

Part of that involves striking partnerships to bring experiences to its residents, which Kisco is already doing at its Gaithersburg location with the Kennedy Center, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Library of Congress, for example.

It also looks to rival the Ritz-Carltons of the world in service, he said. So to train its staff, Kisco is using a five-star hospitality program developed by Forbes Travel, said Smallwood, who has a background in high-end hotels.

While Kisco’s team offers care and support for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, for instance, it does not provide skilled medical care. The company is in talks to secure a health care provider to bring that support to its community, Smallwood said.

The cost to live in the Fitzgerald differs depending on a resident’s needs, but involves monthly rent — starting at about $7,000 — and a monthly care fee associated with the level of day-to-day support required, which for entry-level assisted living would sit between $1,500 and $4,000, Smallwood said. That’s determined based on medical records and an assessment involving the family and licensed nurses, among other things.

The senior living market is growing in Greater Washington, and throughout the U.S., as an aging population increasingly looks for such living options. Reston’s Kensington Senior Living, which has three existing facilities in Greater Washington, is similarly expanding in the region.

Competitors to Kisco also include Inspīr Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue NW, just northwest of Dupont Circle, and The Mather in Tysons.

Kisco has 25 locations across eight states, and typically looks to expand its footprint where it already has communities, Smallwood said — so more future growth in the D.C.-metro region is on the table.

“I think that we’re going to ride a wave of this new generation of seniors who has a heightened level of expectations; they’re more discerning, they have largely disposable income and retirement planning and savings,” Smallwood said. “Those are all really positive indicators for us as an industry.”