LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch is the up-and-coming area for Florida's full-service senior communities ranging from independent housing to assisted living and memory care.
As more baby boomers move to Lakewood Ranch the need to have aging parents and loved ones close by in a quality care setting with different living options is becoming evident.
Four new senior communities in and around Lakewood Ranch are in development and an Alzheimer's and memory care residence serving The Windsor of Lakewood Ranch has grown to accommodate increasing patient demand.
The largest project under construction is Senior Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch, a seven-acre, multitiered independent, assisted living and memory care community in Lakewood Centre near Rangeland Road and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
The property, which spans 175,000 square feet, was sold by Lakewood Ranch Commerce Park LLC, a subsidiary of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc., master developers of Lakewood Ranch, to Senior Lifestyle Corp., a private developer of senior communities, including Sarasota's upscale Heron East off Cattlemen Road.
Senior Lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch is under construction in two phases by the Starling Group, a Sarasota company that built the Intercoastal Medical Group's Lakewood Ranch building. Slated for a 2016 first-quarter opening, phase one will consist of a four-story, combined assisted living/memory care center surround
ed by a courtyard directly opposite a fully equipped four-story independent living residence.
The community's up-to-date amenities will include an Internet cafe, fitness center and fine dining, offering a high level of hospitality and health care, according to Senior Lifestyle executive vice president Matthew Phillips.
"We will have all the latest and greatest from a program standpoint and we are very mindful of keeping the community as residential as possible. Occupancy rates will be comparable to newer upscale senior living facilities in the Bradenton-Sarasota area," Phillips said.
To the south on Natures Way in Town Center, Windsor Reflections welcomes patients Monday to its new Alzheimer's and memory care wing completed in December, adding 12 apartment suites to a filled 40-suite memory care center. The new addition flows into the main building so common areas can be shared. If additional space is needed, private suites in the new wing can be occupied by two patients.
"Our residents are hardly ever in their rooms. We have two or three activity directors on the premises keeping them busy with activities most of the day. The goal is to keep them out of their rooms other than to sleep," said Peter Russell, co-owner of Windsor Reflections and an assisted living residence next door.
Town Center is also the area for Lakewood Ranch's first truly independent senior living residence called Cypress Springs, now under construction on Town Center Parkway, offering 123 rental apartments to healthy seniors who can live alone with direct medical care and enjoy a variety of amenities, social activities and meals prepared by an onsite chef.
Project manager Randy Kennell said the goal is to make the community attractive and competitive.
"We have a program in place where we can compete very well with others in the area. Our scenario is simple. You can rent month-to-month and there's no big buy-in. This makes it much more affordable," Kennell said.
The residence, one of several senior properties in Florida owned by a Canadian-based retirement group, will hire more than a dozen community managers, housekeeping and kitchen staff.
InspiredLiving at Lakewood Ranch plans to open next summer in the Creekwood development on Lena Road near Interstate 75. Built by Tampa's Validus Senior Living, InspiredLiving is another multitiered senior community with an independent, assisted living and memory care residence in one building on 10 acres.
Marketed as upscale senior housing with open floor plans, country kitchens, patios in every apartment and the latest technology and amenities, the community is suited to seniors with different lifestyle requirements.
South of Lakewood Ranch, Omega Communities, headed by renowned builder Pat Trammell, has begun construction of Fountains of Hope, a 90,000-square-foot assisted living and memory care residence on the campus of Church of Hope on Wendell Kent Road in Sarasota. Fountains of Hope will offer 106 residences on 10 acres of private living space next to the church.
Executive Pastor Peter Young said church volunteers will assist residents.
"We believe this is part of our mission to help administer quality compassionate care for the seniors of our community."
Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.