conditioning, cable TV hook-ups and more. Individual units also include universal design and accessible features such as wider doorways, bathroom grab bars and easy-access electrical outlets.
The developer also believed that on-site services and amenities should be incorporated into the project’s design, rather than added after completion. This philosophy, called “active living in place” as opposed to “aging in place,” involves designing in provisions for life-enhancing activities to ensure residents a greater fullness of life. Dedicating spaces and integrating them into the overall design draws residents from their units and makes it possible for them to interact, enhancing their health, happiness, self-respect and independence.
Addressing this philosophy, The Piedmont includes the following community amenities:
- Pool and spa
- Fully equipped fitness center
- Billiards room
- Technology center with a computer lab
- 8,000-square-foot, two-story clubhouse
- Theater-style media room
- Full-service day spa
Housekeeping and concierge services are available to residents, along with scheduled transportation to nearby shopping, dining, entertainment and commercial services. The community also is conveniently located near senior centers, health care facilities and public transportation.
In addition, a range of on-site resident services are offered, all at little or no cost to residents. They include:
- Weekly fitness and strength training classes with a personal trainer
- Arts and crafts
- Presentations by guest authors and lecturers
- Health and wellness programs
- Computer instruction
- Tai chi and dance classes
- Writing workshops
- Fashion shows
- Organized community outings to cultural and other events
- Intergenerational programs
All of those programs are designed to improve residents’ well-being and satisfaction and encourage them to remain active. By supporting continued active lifestyles, the project team believed its approach helps delay the need for more expensive assisted living alternatives as residents age.
Most Residents Are Empty Nesters From Surrounding Neighborhoods
The Piedmont was built primarily for seniors who are able and want to live independently and who have household incomes of $40,000 or more, the median income for this market.
A significant number of residents are empty nesters and widows downsizing from larger family homes but who want to remain close to family and friends — most are from surrounding neighborhoods. Most, also, remain active, have a multitude of interests and seek higher levels of service and attention than at typical apartment communities in the area.
Keeping the Community Competitive
Research indicated that senior renters in the area wanted prices far below comparable market-rate rentals, which range from $2,500 to $4,000 per month in buildings between 20 and 50 years old that have have fewer amenities and services. Rents at The Piedmont are less than half those amounts. Forty of the apartments (20%) were slated for low-income seniors meeting median area income guidelines.
By combining service, luxury and competitive rents in a new community, the project team made a strong value statement in a market dominated by mostly older, less amenitized product lacking the features today’s seniors desire.
To enter your community in the 2005 Best of Seniors Housing Awards competition, visit www.nahb.org/seniorshousingawards or contact Eucklan Matthews at 800-368-5242 x8220. Deadline for entries is Oct. 22.
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