New heights in senior living
Forget the institutional-looking assisted living facilities of the 20th century. Developer/builder Ponte Health hopes to break ground in early 2020 on a mixed-use high rise medical tower on the northern edge of downtown Orlando. Vertical Medical City is currently designed as three separate towers, with the tallest standing at 35 stories and including 955 senior living units for assisted living, advanced care, and memory care services. The FAA approved the project to be as high as 444 feet; it would be the tallest building to be built in the area in the past 30 years. There will be roughly 10,000 s.f. of ground floor retail and dining, 350,000 s.f. of medical offices, an urgent care center, and a large assisted living facility. Current plans also call for a mechanical, stacked parking system to reduce overall space requirements; the garage will have parking for 601 vehicles. Ponte founder Tabitha Ponte, AIA, ACHA, sees the senior living market as a growth area and is betting on a population that prefers an urban location and the contemporary aesthetic that goes with it. JACOBS Buildings is leading the master planning. Dan Kirby, FAIA, a principal of JACOBS Orlando office said, “we are fully intent in creating what will be the healthiest, most sustainable building possible.” Ponte Health is moving forward with a second Vertical Medical City in the heart of downtown Chicago and has future plans to build in London and Osaka. PRISM developed the renderings Ponte Health and Jacobs used to obtain approvals for the project.