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This piece was originally published in QCBJ's Senior Living section. Senior living is a booming business in the Quad Cities. And it is likely to keep booming. That’s the view of several leaders with senior living facilities in the region. Many in the business say that boom is being backed by a growing and aging population that needs senior housing facilities. Some believe the explosion of new senior housing also is being sparked by the red-hot housing market. “There’s definitely a boom going on … It’s going to continue,” said Heather Ropp, regional director of Pella, Iowa-based Ewing Properties, which builds and maintains senior living developments, including The Suites of Bettendorf. The Suites is just one of several senior facilities recently completed, expanded or in the works across the Quad Cities region. Other new facilities include: Quartet: A Senior Living Village in Bettendorf; The Summit of Bettendorf; and Empire Luxury Living, Silvis. Ms. Ropp added that the Quad Cities region is seeing this building boom because it is needed in the region where the population is getting older and many seniors require the extra services. “There’s a whole wave of people 55 and above, and they see it’s time to simplify their lives,” she added. Amy Gutknecht, of The Quartet: A Senior Living Village in Bettendorf, agrees. She adds that the region may have been underserved with limited options for senior facilities in the past. That is quickly changing with several new projects in the works. She added that many people are responding positively to the new projects including The Quartet. Prospective residents like the location, outdoor space and the activities and features offered by the new senior facilities. “Market research shows there’s a lot of need for senior facilities. … This is good for people because each place is a little different. This is great for everybody,” she said of the variety of choices. One of those new facilities, Empire Luxury Living in Silvis, held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 1. Silvis Mayor Matt Carter, who attended the grand opening, called Empire a great addition to the community and a $4.5 million investment in Silvis. “This is an opportunity for people who want to sell their homes and still stay in the community. It’s a wonderful facility,” Mr. Carter added. The Empire’s grand opening attracted hundreds of guests in just the first couple of hours. Visitors toured some of the 27 one- and two-bedroom apartments that will be leased, plus the facility’s workshop, fitness room, pub, a guest room for visitors and many other features. Among the guests was Matt Brooke, the city administrator for nearby Clinton, Iowa, who was touring Empire in hopes of bringing a similar facility to his city. “The more you can create a sense of community in these places, the better it will be for people,” he added. Becky Lee Hinton, executive director of the Overlook Village Senior Living in Moline, added that she believes the senior facility boom will continue into the coming years. “The need is not going away. More will be needed in the future,” she added. The Quad Cities, of course, is not the only part of the nation with an aging population in need of senior facilities. According to Rural Health Information Hub (RHIH), “The U.S. population is aging. Today, there are more than 46 million older adults aged 65 and older living in the U.S. By 2050, that number is expected to grow to almost 90 million. Between 2020 and 2030 alone, the time the last of the baby boom cohorts reach age 65, the number of older adults is projected to increase by almost 18 million. This means by 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be 65 years old and over.” The RHIH estimates that 90% of adults over age 65 experience one or more chronic conditions, and will need specific treatments and medical care. But the senior facility building boom in the region and nation is not just about a population that is growing older. It’s also being spurred by a red-hot housing market. Many seniors are finding this is the perfect time to sell their homes — at a price they want — then move into senior facilities.