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What another new “active adult” development says about Forsyth County
FCN The Orchards at Central Park 4 010919
Construction crews clear land on Keith Bridge Road on Monday, Jan. 8 2019 that will become The Orchards of Central Park, a 160-home development marketed to the 55-and-older community. - photo by Brian Paglia

Another “active adult” retirement community is coming to Forsyth County.

Grading is underway next to Central Park for The Orchards of Central Park, a 160-home development off Keith Bridge Road that is marketed to the 55-and-older community.

Prospective residents can choose from three different home models: “The Cottages” single-family detached units, “Southern Heritage” ranch condominiums and “Master on the Main” attached villas. Prices are expected to range from $270,000 to $340,000, while limited units with a basement are expected to be priced in the low $400,000s, according to Mitch Block, director of sales and marketing with The Orchards Group, who is developing the site.

Amenities will include an outdoor pool, fitness center, a walking path to Central Park and a grand clubhouse with a gourmet kitchen and fireplace.

Homes will start to go to market this summer, Block said.

FCN The Orchards of Central Park Site Plan 011119
The Orchards of Central Park is being developed off Keith Bridge Road next to Central Park and will be a 160-home community targeted to the 55-and-older population.

It will be the sixth such development in Forsyth County by The Orchards Group, continuing the trend of communities marketed to the county’s aging population, which reflects a national trend.

The country’s population is expected to age considerably until 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of people 65 and older is projected to be 83.7 million by then, double what it was in 2012. By 2029, all baby boomers, which are those people born between 1946 and 1964, will be 65 years and older and make up more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population.

Block said The Orchards Group noticed the first signs of a need for “active adult” retirement communities outside traditional locations like Arizona, Florida and New Mexico and formed in 1998 to fill the market. The group has since built more than 2,500 homes in metro Atlanta, according to Block.

It was good timing. Starting in 2000, boomers have been making up an increasing amount of the country’s suburban areas. Since then, the 65-and-older population has grown 39 percent in suburban counties, according to the Pew Research Center, compared to 26 percent in urban and 22 percent in rural counties.

The Orchards Group has built an increasing number of their developments along the Ga. 400 corridor, including in Forsyth County. Others are too. Recently, the family behind The Anderson’s Sunflower Farm on Shiloh Road sold 30 of its 40 acres to Sterling Estates, a retirement community developer based out of Cobb County, who plans to build one- and two-bedroom cottages and apartment suites along with an array of amenities.

“Building properties up and down along that corridor has kind of been our bread and butter,” Block said.

Active adult communities appeal to those approaching retirement who are interested in downsizing, avoid home maintenance and want to live around their own age demographic but also maintain the “social fabric” of a neighborhood, Block said.

Block hopes The Orchards at Central Park will have the same appeal that the group’s other communities in the county have had.

“There is definitely a perceived need in the marketplace for this type of product,” Block said.