Independent living at MorseLife luxury tower all in the cards 

4:16 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 Business
The main dining room at the new Levin Tower at MorseLife in West Palm Beach. (Photo courtesy MorseLife)

MorseLife Chief Executive Keith Myers calls his new 10-story apartment tower “the most luxurious independent living center in all of South Florida.”

Then, to prove his point, he leads a tour of the spa, the cinema, the cocktail bar and the five restaurants, including one that serves only kosher food. High-end art lines the halls, intricate light fixtures decorate every room and corridor. In one dining room, two harpists and a flautist entertain residents.

Seniors who want to live in MorseLife’s Levin Tower pay $5,400 to $7,700 a month, a hefty tab that includes a luxury apartment and two meals a day. Those sums aren’t covered by health insurance or long-term care policies, so the units are aimed at affluent tenants.

MorseLife, a nonprofit provider of assisted living, hospice care and other health services, is spending $102 million on the apartment tower, the latest addition to its 48-acre campus in West Palm Beach. The 182-unit tower is mostly complete, although some units remain under construction.

On Wednesday, Myers showed off the tower to local officials including West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and state Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach.

“We are standing in a 300,000-square-foot piece of art,” Myers said.

The Levin Tower’s apartments range from 760 to 3,000 square feet. Design touches include stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops.

There’s a fitness center, a pool and, on the ninth floor, rooms with views of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches where residents can gather to play cards.

“Living in Florida, what do you do after lunch? You play cards,” Myers said. “What do you do after dinner? You play some more cards.”

The average age at the independent-living tower is 84, and while some residents use canes, walkers or wheelchairs, they’re generally in good health. If residents need to run an errand or visit a doctor, a MorseLife Mercedes will whisk them to the appointments.

The completion of the tower means MorseLife’s main campus is built out, but Myers remains ambitious.

The organization recently bought land for expansion. In October, as the first tenants were moving into the Levin Tower, MorseLife paid $10.5 million for 9 acres owned by Children’s Place at HomeSafe, a nonprofit directly north of MorseLife’s campus.

The expansion, Myers said, is driven by “an explosion of Jewish seniors” looking to retire in Palm Beach County. While most of MorseLife’s residents and patients are Jewish, the organization accepts tenants of all faiths.

MorseLife Health System said its network of nine nonprofit entities reported combined revenue of $109.4 million for the year ended May 31, 2016, up from $92.6 million the year before, and combined total assets of $173 million.

MorseLife operates as something of a hybrid, collecting rent from tenants at its new tower and also soliciting donations from deep-pocketed donors. The Levin Tower is named for Stephen Levin, the former chairman of Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, a beer distributor bought by Reyes Holdings in 2014.

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