Paul Griffin III
As founder and CEO of Griffin Living, Paul Griffin III is an uncommon leader of an uncommon real estate development company—one that leads with heart and puts people at the center of everything he does. A fifth-generation home builder with 30 years of expertise in real estate development, Paul recently pivoted from building master-planned communities, apartments, and shopping centers to focusing on a new class of senior housing communities. His goal is to offer the most creative, lively, energetic generations of our time—and generations to come--the lifestyle they deserve. “We are redefining the landscape of senior living. Our communities are rooted in the honor and dignity of aging, and we prioritize features and amenities that cater to residents’ independent, active, and vibrant lifestyles,” Paul says.
As Paul helms the movement to change senior living, his humility, passion, and genuine affinity for people belie a leader who runs an award-winning firm and has overseen over $4 billion in projects that span from entire residential communities to apartment complexes, retail centers, and commercial office space. They are sincere and steadfast characteristics, radiating from deep inside a man who set out long ago to build communities that truly embody the essence of “home” and who has dedicated his entire career to fulfilling that mission.
“When I had kids, I understood what people needed as families and built communities with them in mind. Now at this age, I understand the needs of seniors, and I’m committed to doing the same for them,” Paul shares. “That’s what gets me up in the morning, that we are truly making a difference in the lives of our senior citizens.”
The catalyst that drove Paul’s decision to specialize in senior housing developments came in 2010-2014, when he reached the stage of his life when he began to appreciate the senior population—and was horrified by what he saw at existing facilities. “I saw what I can only describe as warehousing these people. It was a lonely, depressing environment with mediocre caregiving,” he recalls. “I was determined to change this and put money behind better care and provide a light, clean, airy, happy—human—environment.”
With several communities already thriving across the country, and seven others in development in California, Georgia, Connecticut, and Florida, it’s hard to choose just one that illustrates Paul’s commitment. The Sheridan at Eastlake stands as one shining example. Developed in partnership with Senior Lifestyle Corporation, this gorgeous community, set on 15 acres of woodland and overlooking a stunning pond, offers independent living suites or cottages and assisted living and memory care facilities, designed with customized care to meet the needs of each resident. The beautiful landscape of courtyards and walking paths invites residents to enjoy the outdoors, and the interior feels at once like a luxury hotel and a neighborhood community, with chef-prepared meals in an opulent dining room, spacious game rooms and common areas, and unique spaces like an art studio, salon and spa, and swimming pool.
The best description of life at one of Paul’s senior living communities comes by way of one of his fondest recollections: senior speed-dating night. So many people showed up that the cars lined past the apartments and blocked a major boulevard. The police came to shut it down and the local TV station showed up with their news crew, expecting a major breaking crime story, and instead found a massive party of seniors. “This is what got me excited about seniors in 2011-12. These people are not ‘nursing center’ people. They’re so full of life. Yes, they want a more controlled, safer environment, but they want to date, pursue interests and friends, be involved in activities. It was amazing to see,” Paul beams.
Paul’s reputation for melding his idealism and business acumen is well known among the developers, investors, and municipal leaders with whom he works. He turns his visions into realities for residents—and produces tremendous value for his clients and partners, and communities. Before turning his focus to senior housing developments, Paul spent the better part of his career master planning entire communities designed for families—and not just thousands of houses, but the parks, offices, roadways to support these neighborhoods.
From their time in developing master-planned communities, they have learned to work with local governments and residents to build something that improves the lives of everyone around the project. They put stakeholders first—asking what the city, residents, investors, and customers need. The result is that they develop beautiful projects and are welcome back for future developments by city officials and locals.
While seniors across his communities are “living the dream,” so, too, is Paul. “I’m so fortunate that I can pursue my creative passion in life. That I had a hand in creating sprawling neighborhoods for families and now vibrant communities for seniors really touches me,” he shares. “I think about the gifts that God has given me, and I think this is a tremendous one.”
Paul Griffin III
CEO — Griffin Living
Westlake Village, CA
Download the magazine to see Paul's feature on page 36.