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Luxury living community prepares to break ground
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County seniors will have more living options with the arrival of Villas at Canterfield, a luxury retirement community slated to break ground next month.

The joint developers, Legacy Property Group and Medical Development Corp., provide "a marriage between luxury living and expertise in senior living," said Nancy Marvin, director of community relations for the Villas.

Winston Porter, owner of Medical Development, said the main goal is to "bring in the service quality that you normally don't see in a facility like this."

"One of the things we're trying to do is to kick retirement living to another level and bring in hospitality like we see in some of the finer hotels," he said.

"The common area and community features of the facility are far and above what you normally would see in a typical [continuing care retirement community]."

Through 109 individual living units, 11 villas and 91 assisted living units, the Villas at Canterfield will provide ongoing services for active seniors, as well as those that require around-the-clock care.

"The public kind of mixes us in with the active adults," Marvin said. "My mission is to separate [us] to make sure that they are aware that we're different.

"The thing I love about a continuing care community ... is that they can continue to maintain their friendships, even if they're in assisted living."

Active seniors can move into either of the two independent living facilities beginning at age 62.

Amenities will include parks, a community dining room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, transportation services, lawn games and a fire pit.

With room for about 240 residents, the community will be small but close.

Marvin said as a resident ages or has "an illness they know is going to progress, they know there's going to be security in that they [and their spouse] can have a place with us and don't have to leave."

Unlike purchasing a home, the villas and apartments are paid for through an entrance fee, 90 percent of which is returned if they leave the facility. In the event a resident dies, the 90 percent is transferred to the person's estate.

Entrance fees for apartments will range from $219,900 to $359,900 and between $534,900 and $659,900 for villas.

In addition to the entrance fees, there is a monthly fee, ranging from $2,040 to about $4,000 for independent living homes. Assisted living units carry a larger monthly fee.

Varying meal plans, electricity, water, garage service, a fitness center and chapel are among amenities and services included in the monthly fees.

The first 41 residents will receive discounts between $20,000 and nearly $85,000 on entrance fees, reducing some apartments to less than $170,000, according to company figures.

"The apartment homes are very affordable," Marvin said. "I was really pleased the prices were as low as $170,000."

While the majority of the community will be made up of apartments, Marvin said she's seen interest in the more expensive apartments and villas.

"I've been doing this for a long time and I think people are still having a hard time transitioning from having a garage and larger spaces," she said. "They're not ready quite to live in a building with ... only 1,200 square feet."

Construction on the community is expected to be completed within 17 months. Rather than opening in phases, all 211 units are scheduled to open in spring 2010.

The $60 million project was designed by Architectural Concepts in Largo, Fla.

"They've done over 200 continuing care and retirement properties throughout ... 48 states and eight countries," Porter said.

About 72 full-time employees, including consulting physicians and nurses will be available to residents.

No doctors are on-site, but medical professionals aren't far away.

"We chose this land because we are actually within a mile from Northside Hospital [Forsyth]," Marvin said. "And we're within a mile from Market Place Boulevard, where all the shopping happens."

"We felt a need for something like this and we wanted to fulfill that need in the community. We feel it's important and valuable."