MOORHEAD — In Minnesota alone, there will be just over a million seniors by the year 2025, and in Moorhead there's already response and preparation for the trend.
The dirt is already moving along Eighth Street South in Moorhead, where Eventide Senior Living Communities on Wednesday started work on an $18 million expansion that includes the construction of a four-story building with an underground parking lot. Construction is expected to be complete in two years.
The project at 720 16th Ave. S. will add 73 apartment units to the Eventide on Eighth campus, bringing the total number of assisted living units there to 190.
Eventide has 1,200 residents at four sites, and it is a sign of things to come. In just 15 years, seniors in Minnesota will make up the largest chunk of the state's population.
Ken Tangen was an educator for 50 years in Moorhead and recently moved into Eventide with his wife, Mary. They'll likely be in good company in the coming years as the populations of senior living communities grow.
"It is time, and the children had nothing to do with it . . . that has been a blessing because they did not have to force us into anything we did not want to do," Mary Tangen said.
Ken and Mary Tangen say moving from the house to an apartment and independent living was the right choice. They come and go as they wish, cook if they feel like it.
While the Tangens are an example of today's population moving into the senior living market, the real push is coming — those who will be looking for a place like Eventide in a few years as the aging Baby Boomer generation seeks housing.
"In our wheelhouse, a lot of our customers tend to be in their 80's and that big bubble is just ahead," said Eventide CEO John Riewer. "We are two to three years out from that ramping up at that point."