CedarStone Senior Living, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Developer Nelson Construction & Development (Des Moines, Iowa) and architecture firm AG Architecture (Wauwatosa, Wis.) collaborated to create CedarStone Senior Living, an 88-unit assisted living and 32-unit memory care community in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Opened in July 2022, the project aimed to design a building that fits seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood while prioritizing resident comfort and safety and supporting community engagement.

Design inspiration from surrounding community

The building architecture draws inspiration from the surrounding residential area to include pitched roofs, double-hung windows, a masonry base, and fiber cement clapboard siding with trim details.

The entry sequence welcomes residents and visitors into a two-story lobby. Biophilic design principles are incorporated throughout the building including natural light in interior spaces, while outdoor experiences were prioritized at all levels of care. The interior design by Thoma-Holec Design (Mesa, Ariz.) features a subtle mid-century-inspired feel through colors, patterns, finishes, and clean lines.


Residents have access to a range of amenities, including a variety of dining options, lounge areas, and outdoor spaces. Specifically, the first floor houses casual and formal dining areas, a private dining room, and garden dining area. The second floor offers a theater, salon/barbershop, and fitness area. A suite of social spaces, including a lounge, clubroom, and outdoor roof deck can be found on the third floor.

Working with senior living operator Ecumen (Shoreview, Minn.), the team aligned operational and design decisions to enhance the living experience for residents at CedarStone. For example, a secondary pantry was created to service the memory care. This prep area provides direct access to the kitchen on the non-public side in order to minimize noise and distractions for a more enjoyable dining atmosphere.

In order to support aging in place, dedicated staff spaces are centrally located on each floor of the three-story building. These spaces offer comfortable work areas for staff and allow them to assist residents with changing acuity needs no matter their location in the building.

CedarStone Senior Living, Cedar Falls, Iowa, project details

Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Completion date: July 2022

Owner/developer: Nelson Construction & Development

Operator: Ecumen

Total building area: 127,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: $22.5 million

Cost/sq. ft.: $177

Architecture: AG Architecture

Interior design: Thoma-Holec Design

General contractor: Nelson Construction & Development

Engineer: AG Architecture (MEP), Reyn Engineering Inc. (structural), Axiom Consultants (civil)

Landscape design: Genius Landscape Architects

Low voltage and food service: Direct Supply Aptura

Owners representative: Navigate Building Solutions