Union Village will offer health care services while accommodating lifestyle needs of seniors.

Construction started last month on an acute care hospital that will serve as an anchor for Union Village, Henderson, Nev., a $1.2 billion integrated health care and senior living community touted as among the first of its kind in the world.

Development company Union Village LLC and the Valley Health System, both in Las Vegas, held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the project.

Union Village will include a hospital complex and health center; entertainment and specialty retail space; assisted living and independent living options for about 1,500 seniors; and a civic and cultural arts center integrated into a master-planned community. The entire project will be built on 228 acres and take 10–15 years to complete, says Craig Johnson, co-founder of Union Village LLC.

The community will be built in three phases. The first phase, called Union Centre, will include construction of Henderson Hospital, a 142-bed acute care facility on 30 acres that also will include 350 condominium units, he says. The hospital is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

The health care component of the project also will include a skilled nursing facility to be attached to a long-term acute care hospital. This will reduce capital and operating costs by avoiding duplication of some clinical services, Johnson says.

Other parts of the health care offerings include an assisted living facility, outpatient therapy, home health care and more.

Scott D. Romney, senior system director, strategic marketing and business development, the Valley Health System, says the system participated in the project to offer convenient services to residents in an area not already served by it.

Union Village will provide an ideal setting to serve an aging population, Romney says. "We will tailor services specific to them and be able to monitor their health across the care continuum," he says.

Romney also believes Union Village may be a forerunner of similar communities to come in the United States. "The baby boomer generation seeks convenience, leisure and value," he says. "Healthy living is increasingly part of this generation's lifestyle, but not at the expense of traveling long distances and at great expense to get comprehensive care."

Phase 2 of the project will consist of a specialty retail center with medical offices, residential apartments, entertainment and a midrange-priced hotel with suites. Phase 3 will include a senior village with restaurants and the community's cultural center.