September 8, 2021

Miami to Become Home to World’s First Blue Zones Center

In Florida, United States, downtown Miami’s highly anticipated mixed-use development, Legacy Hotel & Residences, signed a record-breaking joint venture deal with Adventist Health called Blue Legacy Ventures (JV) on August 19, 2021. The JV will lease and operate a first-of-its-kind, 120,000-square-foot (about 11,150-square-meter) health and well-being center. 

As one of the largest commercial leases to be executed in Downtown Miami’s history, the JV officially marks next chapter for Adventist Health and its subsidiary Blue Zones in putting their longevity principles into practice via this first flagship center for well-being. 

Services will include diagnostic, surgical, medical, spa, fitness, lifestyle medicine, and well-being improvement programming. The estimated US$100 million, 10-floor center reflects all the parties’ shared vision to make Miami Worldcenter in Downtown Miami, Florida, United States, and eventually Miami as a whole, the next Blue Zones community.

California-based Adventist Health acquired Blue Zones in 2020 as a key step forward in its commitment to leading a 21st-century well-being transformation movement rooted in its 150-year well-being heritage. The non-profit integrated health system serves more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii through hospitals, medical clinics, payer partnerships, and other care, health, and well-being services. 

Blue Zones has a proven, research-based solution to improving the well-being of entire communities by making healthy choices easier in all the places people live, work, learn, pray, and play. The company was born out of explorations and research done by National Geographic Fellow and Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner, who identified the blue zones hotspots around the world where people live extraordinarily long and happy lives. Blue Zones is recognized as the proven global leader in applying this research to transform entire populations by empowering people to live longer, healthier, happier lives, resulting in double-digit drops in obesity and smoking rates, increases in activity and happiness, lowered health-care costs, and more.

The JV will merge the best practices of hospitality and health care by leveraging RPC’s expertise in developing visionary properties with Adventist Health’s expertise in lifestyle medicine and Blue Zones’ experience in improving well-being by design. The Blue Zones Center will be the first place, built from the ground up, with a fully integrated well-being and medical center that focuses on keeping people well. At the integrated well-being and medical center, guests will have the ability to benefit from a lifestyle approach to medicine and an evidence-based approach to well-being therapies and treatments.

The Future of Health Care

Lifestyle medicine has emerged as the future of health care, and with the new medical facility, the JV will pioneer the building of a large-scale lifestyle medicine center from the ground up. The Blue Zones experience at Legacy will combine modern medicine, holistic healing, and the most sophisticated artificial intelligence and technology for members, guests, residents, and employees to live better longer. The Blue Zones Center’s membership model will offer high-touch, frequent interactions and deeply rooted health relationships with patients, members, residents, and guests.

Blue Zones takes a systems-focused approach to designing places and spaces that improve the comprehensive health and well-being for everyone who moves through them — from the patient to the family to the front-desk hotel employee. There will be a unified approach to materials used, foods offered, and physical designs implemented, as well as storytelling, policies, and programming — all designed to deepen and enrich the guest experience and create the optimal environment for higher well-being.

Everyone can expect a fully immersive Blue Zones experience as they visit the Legacy Hotel & Residences where the healthy choice is the easy choice, from the building design encouraging moving naturally to the Blue Zones menus in onsite restaurants encouraging eating wisely, to the policies and programming encouraging people to connect more with each other and their purpose.

Blue Zones programming will also benefit the wider Miami community, including an onsite farmers market, a curated voluntourism program, movement activation in downtown Miami’s planned 80-acre park system as well as the creation of the Blue Zones interactive Exploratorium.

“Blue Zones has captured the imagination and attention of people all over the world for being a pioneer in improving the health of entire cities and helping us all get the most out of our years,” developer Dan Kodsi, founder and CEO of RPC, said. “Now, with The Blue Zones Center, their proven principles will come alive as hotel visitors will actually be able to see, touch, and live the Blue Zones lifestyle themselves for the very first time.”

“This will be a more advanced way of addressing health, where the patient’s journey begins with a highly personalized medical evaluation by your physician,” Stephen Watson, managing partner of RPC Health, said. “It will be followed by a unique and customized high-tech and high-touch program that utilizes all of the services within the center, including surgical, aesthetic, therapeutic, consultative, lifestyle coaching, well-being programming, and more to keep people well and happy,” he added. Watson envisioned and led the development of the center. “We believe this combination of advanced diagnostics with lifestyle medicine and unparalleled personalized care will help members reach and sustain their optimal health,” he said.

Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones, said that the value proposition of the Blue Zones Center is to generate better performance and more good years of life. “Embarking on a trailblazing project like this requires the right partners, and we’re impressed with the RPC leadership and team, who have been committed to co-innovating with us on this visionary project,” Leedle explained. “The JV leverages our joint capabilities and competencies to combine our transformative model for creating optimal well-being with RPC’s expertise in forward-thinking development and placemaking.”

For Bill Wing, president of Adventist Health, creating the first Blue Zones Center and integrated large-scale lifestyle medicine center marks Adventist Health’s commitment to move beyond sick care. “It will also establish a model and lead the way to the fusion of care, health, and well-being,” he added.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Health.