The Courtyard at Dallas Retirement Village

Construction Underway on Phase 2 of Dallas Retirement Village

DALLAS, Ore.,– The Phase 2 expansion of the Lodge Residences is underway at DALLAS RETIREMENT VILLAGE, a senior living community that has served the Dallas area for more than seven decades. This 60,000-square-foot expansion will complete the circle around the existing picturesque courtyard, adding 29 new independent living apartment homes, an indoor pool, spa, fitness facilities and more.

“Phase 1 was completed four years ago. Since then, we’ve continued to build a waiting list,” said Dave Parrett, Executive Director. “Having more apartments will make us more accessible to local seniors who would like to move here.”

In fact, more than 80% of the new apartments were under contract before marketing efforts were temporarily halted in March due to COVID-19. The community recently resumed the pre-selection process. “At this point, we are about a year from move-in,” said Parrett. “We’re confident that we’ll have most, if not all, apartments reserved before then.”

Designed to be a continuation of Phase 1, the expansion features a craftsman exterior with a Pacific Northwest elegance, says the project architect, Chuck Archer of LRS Architects. In addition, the interior design offers a familiar and comfortable aesthetic that feels like home, explained Lisa Warnock, Director of Housing Interiors with LRS Architects.

Welcome additions to the Dallas Retirement Village campus|
As a distinct design element of the expansion, the new indoor/outdoor roof top patio will feature large sliding glass doors that can be opened or closed depending on the weather—offering a temperature-controlled space that can be used year-round, said Parrett. The patio will have its own kitchen, making the space ideal for community events and parties. Plus, residents can utilize the space to host private family get-togethers.

Overall, Phase 2 offers a welcome addition of community space. “Currently, our Commons space is booked solid throughout the day,” explained Parrett. “This new space will really allow us to expand our programming.”

Residents are particularly excited about the new fitness facilities, including a space for group exercise as well as a new weight room for individual exercise. Plus, the expanded spa will include hair stations, pedicure and manicure stations, and private massage treatment rooms.

Construction activities to escalate soon
Currently, work continues, said project manager Albert Castaneda with Deacon Construction. “Soon there will be a lot of workers from various subcontractor trades all working at the same time. This site has minimal areas for staging which makes it more exciting to see what is happening for residents.” A construction photo gallery and live video feed is available on the community’s website.

Founded in 1947 and located in Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley, Dallas Retirement Village is an active, 30-acre senior living community offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services.

New Post-Acute Rehabilitation Resort Under Construction in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK–Diakonos Group, LLC, in conjunction with Pi Architects, SCI Construction, LTD, and SMC Consulting Engineers, P.C., have begun construction on Parc Place Medical Resort, a post-acute rehabilitation facility in Oklahoma City.

Located on an 8.3-acre, 349,892 square-foot site offering 75 private rooms, this facility is designed to create a short-stay rehab setting where patients will receive modern rehabilitation services within a spa-like setting. Patient’s experiences will include a café and hotel-like lobby greeting them as they first enter the building to create a sense of welcome hospitality and social healing.

The building’s shape is designed to maximize the reach of natural light warming each of the conversation and activity spaces. Other atypical design features include multiple dining venues that spill out into each of the garden courts, providing guests with a variety of seating options for meals throughout the day. Therapy spaces energize guests to stay active with thoughtful ceiling and window designs that draw the eye from the moment they enter with color and height inviting them out to the connected private therapy courtyard.Located on an 8.3-acre, 349,892 square-foot site offering 75 private rooms, this facility is designed to create a short-stay rehab setting where patients will receive modern rehabilitation services within a spa-like setting. Patient’s experiences will include a café and hotel-like lobby greeting them as they first enter the building to create a sense of welcome hospitality and social healing.

The building is divided into three houses, each with its own themed dining rooms, outdoor cafés, and shaded garden courts. Additionally, guests can be treated to a modern salon experience, join one of the activity programs, or just relax at any of the cozy lounges provided throughout the building.

“We want to create an environment where people see others getting better and are inspired to pursue their therapy goals,” said Scott Pilgrim, Owner and CEO of the Diakonos Group. “They are here to get better and go home. But while they’re here, we want them to experience a resort-like environment where they feel pampered and engaged.”

“There are very few programs like this is in the Oklahoma City area. We look forward to bringing the medical resort idea to this community,” Pilgrim said. Parc Place Medical Resort is expected to open February 2021.

Empower Equity Announces $2 Billion in Funding to Provide Critical Equipment Capital During COVID-19

ITHACA, NY– Empower Equity (EMPEQ), a service-disabled veteran-led fintech company focused on delivering equipment and project financing for commercial and industrial buildings, has broadened its portfolio with over $2 billion in available funding. With this fund, EMPEQ can provide immediate financing, ranging from $10,000 to $10 million, for small- to mid-sized organizations to upgrade their essential building equipment—such as HVAC systems, chillers, and boilers—with new systems. This funding is designed to help companies critical to the fight against the Coronavirus keep their buildings and equipment operational, preserve capital amidst the current economic slowdown from COVID-19 and to cover the gap between their true need and the government stimulus they will receive.

Former US Marine, Herbert Dwyer, CEO of EMPEQ, co-founder of the service-disabled veteran owned and led company said, “We deeply understand and share in the concerns that business owners and building managers are facing in these unprecedented times, and are eager to help ease that burden in as many cases as we can. This funding is our way of helping companies and building owners optimize cashflow and ensure business continuity. It will also provide much needed work for professionals installing HVACR, lighting, and other equipment.”

With the developing situation in mind, the funding will prioritize businesses classified as essential in the fight against the pandemic, including hospitals, medical facilities, pharmacies, telecommunication providers, long-term care, and banks. EMPEQ will also accept applications from nonessential business owners looking for help to ease financial challenges stemming from COVID-19. While the CARES ACT is focused on providing essential working capital, and is flooded with requests, already exceeding initial expectations, EMPEQ has alternative private sources.

EMPEQ is uniquely positioned to help organizations struggling with the current business climate through its program, designed to fund projects faster than other companies. The suite of online tools developed to expedite the application can be completed in less than 5 minutes.

Businesses and building owners who can’t find the money in their budget for critical equipment—or are unable to get the funds from the stimulus package, can get their desired upgrade at no upfront cost and with no adverse effect on their balance sheet.

In one instance recently, the owner of a multi-unit housing complex in upstate New York had already decided to replace an outdated HVAC system in his complex with a newer, energy-efficient system, but he hesitated to pay upfront due to the economic uncertainty. After filling out the online application, EMPEQ quickly approved the $85,000 loan to pay for the new HVAC system in full, freeing up the owner’s cashflow. The new program is to help Small Business Owners keep operations running during the difficult times ahead.

According to a recent report from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), improved airflow and recycling capabilities in HVAC systems can reduce airborne transmission of infectious diseases by diluting and removing the infectious agents from the area. For this reason, several leading industry experts are predicting a renewed emphasis on replacing HVAC systems in a wide variety of commercial buildings in the next year.

Incorporated in 2016, EMPEQ is changing the way commercial and industrial buildings finance their critical energy equipment and infrastructure projects. EMPEQ is a financial technology (Fintech) company that utilizes technology to provide small- and mid-size businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities easy to use and simple to understand finance options and tools for HVAC commercial contractors to close more deals, faster. EMPEQ deploys traditional financing as well as its unique subscription model.

The Spires at Berry College Welcomes First Residents

ROME, Georgia – This month The Spires at Berry College, a continuing care retirement community on the campus of Berry College, welcomed its first residents.

The community began construction in October of 2018 and has opened 55 of the 144 apartment home units. The 26 free-standing cottage homes will open on June 15. More than 70% of the community is pre-sold at this time, and residents that have been part of the Charter Member Group are planning their moves over the next several months.

The Spires was planned by the Berry College Board of Trustees several years ago, and the Board of Directors is excited to see the community come to fruition. Dr. Steve Briggs, President of Berry College has been intimately involved with the community since its beginning, and he is looking forward to welcoming his mother, Betty Briggs, this week.

“Serving on the Lavender Mountain Senior Living Board of Directors since its creation in September of 2015 has been a joy and a privilege,” said Sue Anderson, Board President. “The leadership of Berry College had a dream to build a world-class continuing care retirement community on their campus, and they have done it. As with everything that Berry College does, it was planned and executed with great care and precision.”

The Spires is a gated, private community for those ages 55+. The Spires Commons areas include a fourth-floor Club Room overlooking Eagle Lake and Lavender Mountain, three dining venues, an indoor saltwater swimming pool, a Fitness Room, a beauty salon and spa, Arts Studio and a large multi-purpose room for special events.

The community will open the Apartments East, Longleaf Lodge, and Magnolia Place Healthcare Center on October 1.

“There are many potential challenges when creating a community of this size,” said Brian Erb, Vice President of Finance for Berry College and Treasurer of Lavender Mountain Senior Living. “To be able to open this community on time and within budget despite all the obstacles of COVID-19 and wet weather this spring is a huge testament to the team involved in this project.”

The Board of Directors engaged Greenbrier Development, a senior living development firm headquartered in Dallas, TX to lead the construction, development, marketing, and finance of The Spires. Greenbrier Senior Living will oversee all operations. Brasfield & Gorrie was the general contractor for the project, and Ziegler Financial provided funding for the community.

Part of the key to the success of The Spires is hiring the right team members to lead the community. Buster Wright, Board Member for Lavender Mountain Senior Living, was an important part of interviewing this team.

“When looking for the right leaders for The Spires, we wanted to find people who had a great passion for senior adults as well as a great passion for students,” said Wright. “I’m delighted with the folks that have joined this team.”

Laurie Steber was chosen as Executive Director of The Spires, and she has been working the last seven months to gather the executive team to lead this exciting new community. Laurie moved to Rome, GA from Chapel Hill, NC for this opportunity. Most recently, Laurie served as the Executive Director at Preston Pointe, a luxury retirement community in Cary, NC.

Steber has worked in retirement living for the past 15 years, but her entire career has been focused on serving customers. She started her career in Mobile, Alabama where she owned a bed and breakfast. “I always feel like my community should feel like a big bed and breakfast – residents should feel comfortable asking for anything, and our job is to make their lives as wonderful as possible,” says Steber.

Opening The Spires in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was not ideal, but residents have been planning their moves for several months and are ready and willing to move to The Spires. Part of this readiness came from extensive preparations by the team at The Spires to ensure the cleanliness and health safety of our residents and guests.

“As of today, Georgia remains under shelter-in-place for people 65+, so we are limiting guests and visitors to come to The Spires,” said Laurie Steber, Executive Director. All guests and team members must complete a health check to enter the community, and everyone is required to wear a face mask in all common area spaces and practice social distancing. Hand sanitation stations are readily available throughout the campus and our Housekeeping team has been sanitizing all common area spaces and high touch areas three times a day.

“We are going to operate on an overly-cautious plan at this time,” said Steber. “Within a short period of time, we will provide COVID-19 testing throughout the campus to ensure everyone is staying healthy.”

Nick Lancaster is the Healthcare Administrator at The Spires. Nick has provided a great deal of local knowledge to develop the healthcare program at The Spires. Magnolia Place Healthcare Center will provide private apartments for Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing Care, and Rehabilitation Care. The community has partnered with Floyd Medical Center and Dr. Amanda Reeves to be the in-house physician. In addition, Functional Pathways will provide Rehabilitation Services for residents on an in-patient and out-patient basis.

In addition to Nick Lancaster, Laurie has hired Lemarr Gass to lead the Accounting Team, Tracy Cochran as Director of Nursing, Chandler Lawrence to serve as Lifestyles Director, Dianne Willerson to oversee Human Resources, and Kevin Burges to manage Housekeeping.

Kasey Cromer is the Dining Services Director. Executive Chef Vernon Browning, the former Executive Chef for Berry College, is leading the three Dining Venues at The Spires: Eagle’s Landing Lounge, Cliffside Casual Dining, and Lakeside Formal Dining. Residents at The Spires receive monthly meal credits to enjoy in any of the dining venues. Menu items will range from a full breakfast in the mornings to sandwiches and salads for lunch and a full array of dinner entrees. When possible, the kitchen team will use local and seasonal ingredients to create ever-changing menus at The Spires.

“Berry College is known for a long-standing tradition of producing agricultural products like honey, produce and beef,” said Vernon Browning, Executive Chef. “We’ll be taking advantage of these outstanding local products whenever possible.”

One big distinction that sets the team at The Spires apart from other communities of its kind is the presence of Berry College students that serve the residents of The Spires. Several student workers are part of the Gate of Opportunity Scholars Program and are required to work at least 30 hours per week at The Spires. These students serve in various roles from Concierge to Server to Housekeeping.

“My past experience working in the Berry College Welcome Center led me to this position at The Spires, said Ahjanayyah Warren, a rising sophomore at Berry College studying Psychology. “When I first heard about The Spires coming to Berry College I thought, ‘why in the world would we want to have retirees on our campus?’ Now that I am here and meeting all of these special residents, it is so obvious. I can’t wait to learn and grow with these wonderful people,” said Warren.

Residents moving to The Spires are predominately from the Rome area, but several residents are returning to Berry College after being away for several years. Ted and Beverly Fox lived in the Atlanta area for the past several decades, but returning to Berry was an obvious choice for Ted.

“I worked on this campus as one of ‘Martha’s Boys’ back in the 1950s, and I remember Possum Trot,” said Mr. Fox. “Now coming to The Spires, I feel like I am moving into heaven with all my good friends around and the beauty of Berry College to enjoy. What really makes it nice is having the students around.”

More than 80% of the residents of The Spires are not affiliated with Berry College, but they have come to think of Berry College as their new home campus. The residents look forward to a time when they can enjoy all the amenities of the college – including auditing classes alongside students.

 

About The Spires at Berry College
The Spires at Berry College is a visionary new Continuing Care Retirement Community that opened June 1, 2020 alongside pristine Eagle Lake at the foot of Lavender Mountain, nestled on the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia – “America’s most beautiful college campus.” The Spires will offer the security of accessible healthcare services, including renowned medical centers in downtown Rome only minutes away, and spacious apartments and cottages equipped with lifestyle amenities. The Spires will provide lakeside senior living for the un-retiring retirees. The community is being built by Brasfield & Gorrie Construction Company and started construction in October of 2018. For more information or to apply for a position at The Spires, please visit www.retireatberry.com or call (706) 368-9955.

The Spires is a gated, private community that is currently closed to outside visitors to protect the health of our residents. Appointments can be made by calling the Information Center at (706) 368-9955 or emailing info@retireatberry.com.