When you are in the design and development world, the challenges are daily and the rewards are infrequent. Well, today was one of those days when I got to go to sleep feeling accomplished.

Yesterday, our project, The Sage Oak of Lake Charles was announced as the national winner of the 2021 Senior Housing News Architectural Design Award competition in the Memory Care category. As a developer, I’m thrilled to be part of this team effort to bring this ground breaking project to fruition.

A project like this is truly a team effort. I’m going to thank a whole bunch of folks who helped bring this project to fruition. In so doing, I’m certainly going to miss some who are worthy of mention. I’ve got to start with my partner Loe Hornbuckle who developed the expertise as an operator at a very high level. It was his brainchild to create refine the values the underpin the Sage Oak product offer. I’d like to recognize the architecture firm of Greenfield Lawson in New Orleans, the general contractor of Donahue Favret also from New Orleans, Valerie Malone and her interior design firm at Quill Design in Cambridge, our partners Pam Abide and Sharon Foreman at New Orleans Equity Partners, our supportive lender at B1 Bank, Dave Zook and the whole team at the Real Asset Investor, our expert staff under the leadership of Executive director Jeremy Fruge, and the entire staff at Sage Oak. When you walk in the door, after you take a temperature test, you can really feel the positive energy in the doors. You are the reason that we’re ahead of our occupancy projections this early into the startup cycle.

We don’t build these projects to win awards. We’re not out there playing the comparison game. We build these projects to create a great product in the market that solves a real need. Where design competitions are useful is in looking at what other leaders in the industry are doing and helping to calibrate what best in class looks like in the industry. We’re not going to stop innovating, improving, strengthening the product offering for the new buildings that are under construction in other locations. Even as winners, we see room for improvement. Most of the time, those improvements are small details, like better positioning of a shower head in a shower. But we’re thrilled to receive the honor and recognition that comes from being the winner of this year’s award.