Architecture Firm Behind Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium Makes Senior Living Play with D2

Senior residential architecture and design specialist D2 Architecture announced that the company is moving to HKS, a global architecture and design firm headquartered in Dallas. D2 is also based in Dallas. The deal is yet another signal that the future of senior housing will be shaped by companies with global reach and significant resources.

HKS’s most famous development is the AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The company also has practices in aviation, healthcare, hospitality, civic and cultural institutions, mission-critical institutions and mixed-use residential real estate.

Among his numerous projects, D2 was the architect for Ventana von Buckner, a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in Dallas, which consists of two 12-story towers and won “Best CCRC Design” at the SHN Architecture and Design Awards 2019 was awarded.

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D2 Founder and President David Dillard, Principal Grant Warner, and Associate Principals Siobhan Farvardin and Keith Wilson joined HKS. The rest of the D2 employees will join the company in the coming months when ongoing projects are completed.

The move essentially kicks off HKS ‘senior living practice with a highly respected team of industry veterans at a time when many of its institutional clients are looking for opportunities in the field. The company’s design team is able to create synergies with the incoming D2 platform, Kirk Teske, global director of HKS, told Senior Housing News.

A wider customer base

HKS has completed a number of senior housing projects in the past. By adding the D2 platform, the company has an integrated customer base and the credibility to track senior housing projects of all sizes around the world.

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“We want to serve the customers who have the greatest impact in this particular market,” said Teske. “We’re not so much looking for projects. It’s these quality customers. “

Bringing in D2 will also benefit HKS clients who are using their size and expertise in other real estate sectors to break into the senior housing sector.

A client, Houston-based developer and owner Hines Interests, announced a partnership with MorningStar Senior Living last year to develop an assisted living and memory maintenance facility in Houston’s Tony River Oaks neighborhood. This project is one of many that the two companies are jointly developing, MorningStar founder and CEO Ken Jaeger told SHN in August 2019. Hines is also working with other established senior housing players, including Watermark Retirement and Welltower (NYSE: GOOD).

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Hines sees further opportunities to capitalize on future demand for senior housing. The company has a robust multi-family pipeline, and senior housing leader Ryan Pritchard envisions a future where traditional housing will be co-located with senior housing – in some cases in the same building, he said during the recent BUILD event Senior Housing News.

HKS and Hines have a longstanding relationship. Developments the company designed for Hines include CityCenterDC – Conrad, a Washington, DC mixed-use development consisting of the Conrad Washington – a Hilton-branded hotel – and over 30,000 square feet of street-level retail.

Design synergies

D2, meanwhile, will benefit from the economies of scale offered by HKS’s global reach, giving it a competitive edge on future projects that its executives believed would not end up on the current scale. It can also use HKS’s research and development team to identify and implement future trends in senior housing – a key selling point for Dillard.

“That depth was really attractive to me – to think more about what we could do,” he said.

In particular, several members of the HKS research and development team are interested in participating in Project Sleepover, a concept Dillard developed over 12 years ago where he and his staff would spend 24 hours in long-term care facilities to better cater to needs hire the seniors who will live there. Dillard recognizes the concept of helping D2 keep pace with current design trends. Although the concept has evolved over time, due to the smaller size of the company, it has not grown as quickly as he imagined. The move to HKS gives Dillard the opportunity to perfect the concept.

“I’m going to finish this project, hell or flood, next year,” he said. “It’s about shrinking that intimidating scale down to the right size. Now I have the help. “

Teske believes that D2 will benefit from a forward-thinking design team that ideas can be shared with. A few years ago, HKS committed itself to further developing previous prototype projects and to have a significant influence on the appearance of the projects in which it is involved. In particular, he sees strong synergies between D2 and HKS’s hospitality department, which is doing significant work on branded residential projects.

“Your talent combined with David’s team will be phenomenal,” he said.

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