Construction on 'fast track' for senior living communities in Lakewood Ranch

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The first independent senior living community in Lakewood Ranch, Cypress Springs, isn't set to open until November, but already it is 40 percent leased, according to the owners of the community.

The community, spread over 4 acres on the north side of Town Center Parkway, is across from the newly expanded Windsor Reflections Memory Care, said Amber Chamberlain of Hawthorne Retirement Group, a Vancouver, Wash.-based family owned company, which owns and operates senior living facilities in the United States and Canada.

"We're pushing pretty hard, working almost seven days a week, and everything is moving along fine," said construction manager Randy Kennel of Colson & Colson, the construction manager for the Hawthorne Retirement Group. Almost 60 percent of the community is complete, and Kennel said the construction team's goal is to make the community attractive and competitive.

Cypress Springs is four-story connected buildings with a main entrance featuring 134 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, which can be leased on a short-term month-to-month basis with no buy-in fees or long-term contracts.

The community is geared to healthy, active seniors who can live alone without medical supervision. There are planned activities, events and day trips and three chef-prepared meals are served daily.

Cypress Springs also will

offer professional, onsite managers, weekly housekeeping and linen service, free laundry facilities, on-site parking, and amenities, such as an exercise room and library.

"Our scenario is simple. You can rent month to month and there's no big buy-in. This makes it more affordable," Kennel said.

Additional independent living units will be available next year in Lakewood Ranch, north of State Road 70 in Lakewood Centre.

The largest project is Senior Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch, a 7-acre, independent, assisted living and memory care community under construction at Rangeland Parkway and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.

Spanning 175,000 square feet, the first phase of Senior Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch, a four-story, combined assisted living/memory care center, is slated to open in 2016, followed by a fully equipped independent living residence separated by a courtyard.

On commercially zoned land adjacent to the Tara Golf & Country Club, RLC at Bradenton, a 130-unit, fully independent senior lifestyle community, has received final site plan and permitting approvals from Manatee County. Parent company, Resort Lifestyle Communities based in Nebraska, told the Herald it intends to break ground before the end of the year, with plans to develop an assisted living center on an adjacent 4-acre parcel.

"The land has been purchased, the site portion is complete, and we're working with another company, JEA Senior Living, on the permitting process. This nice continuum of care works well for seniors," said Stephen Hupf, project manager.

Kathryn Moschella, East Manatee reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.