A steady stream of residents is being welcomed and settling into their new apartment homes as Founders Ridge senior living community nears completion. Located at 6600 Auto Club Road, Bloomington, Minnesota, Founders Ridge was originally conceptualized in 2008, approved for construction in 2010, and the first phase opened for occupancy in 2012. Since opening, the community has experienced high demand. “We’ve had a high level of interest for many years. Now we are welcoming them to their new apartments,” said Jennifer Brodahl, Campus Administrator.
New residents Shirley and Ed Johnson can hardly contain their enthusiasm as they begin their life at Founders Ridge. Shirley said, “Neither of us had any thoughts about moving to a senior living community.” In May of this year, they received a mailing about Founders Ridge and were intrigued. “We knew that PHS is a great organization,” said Shirley. Her mother had been a resident nearby at Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington. “Presbyterian Homes was a beautiful location for her and the care was excellent. That was the first experience we had of senior living,” she said.
They contacted Dawn Harff, Housing Advisor at Founders Ridge to learn more. Even with the limited campus access due to COVID-19, Dawn helped them navigate their options by sharing floor plans and campus images via the website and online photo gallery. Dawn also led them through a virtual tour of the campus and apartment choices. “Dawn was so easy to work with. It all fell into place,” said Shirley. Three days later, they signed the reservation agreement and in a few weeks were able to come into the building and see their new apartment. “We’re very happy with the decision that we made,” she said.
“The location was probably the main reason we chose to move here,” said Ed. The Johnsons have called Bloomington home for over 60 years and their three grown children all live in the Twin Cities area. “Our children were very happy when we told them we were going to move,” said Shirley. She added that the kids were especially pleased to learn that Ed and Shirley were moving to a single-level apartment after over four years in a multi-level townhome.
Ed and Shirley moved to Founders Ridge on Tuesday, September 22 and were warmly welcomed. “The Founders Ridge Staff has been as helpful as we could ask for. They’ve been terrific,” said Ed. “Everyone is so friendly and willing to help at any point,” Shirley added.
Now the couple is unpacking to set up their new 2-bedroom/2 bath apartment. From their sun room or deck, they can enjoy a west-facing view overlooking the expansive grounds and suburban forest of Bethany Global University, adjacent to Founders Ridge. “We have an end unit, so we get a lot of afternoon sunlight,” said Shirley. “Everything in the apartment is top-notch. It is just right for us!” she exclaimed.
Beyond their apartment, Ed and Shirley plan to take advantage of the many amenities and services Founders Ridge offers. “We can take the bus to shop nearby and Shirley can go to the hair salon right here,” said Ed. “I don’t have to chase after my newspaper or take the trash outside,” he added. Shirley is looking forward to taking walks on the many walking paths on grounds of Founders Ridge. Although Shirley likes to cook and is glad that the apartment has a full kitchen, she and Ed look forward to the complimentary continental breakfast served every day and the choice they have any time to enjoy restaurant-style dining in the expanded dining room. They can also stop in at the Bistro for a lighter meal. Shirley said that she’s impressed with all the social, spiritual and wellness programs offered, “There’s something going on every day and we can be as active as we want to be,” she said.
The Johnsons and other new residents have moved into Founders Ridge’s expansion, which added 71 new senior living apartments. Reservations are being accepted for the remaining one- and two-bedroom apartments. In addition to the new apartment homes, the campus has added a larger group fitness room, more underground parking, electric car charging stations, a new staff lounge and nicely appointed common areas.
Pre-reservations are also open for The Brownstones row-style homes, bringing an additional 40 apartment homes to the campus. The Brownstones are expected to open beginning in November 2020.
At Founders Ridge and all PHS communities, the well-being of residents, family members and staff is a high priority. Founders Ridge maintains standard protocols and practices to prevent or limit the spread of infectious disease such as COVID-19, including robust move-in procedures to ensure the health and safety of the community. All residents are asked to wear masks outside their apartment and maintain social distancing and group size guidelines. Independent living residents may welcome guests to their apartments during specific hours and all visitors must complete a screening process at each visit before entering the buildings. The challenges of COVID-19 have presented opportunities to further innovate to deliver great care in a welcoming environment each day.
The expansion project is being developed by Senior Housing Partners (SHP). Located in Roseville, SHP is the development arm of Presbyterian Homes & Services. “Our current resident family at Founders Ridge has created such a vibrant, warm, and welcoming environment, we couldn’t be happier to facilitate the expansion of this community to serve the ever-increasing senior population in the southwest metro,” said Jon Fletcher, Vice President. “We are pleased to be able to continue to minister to seniors and provide thoughtful leadership in the design, development and operations of senior housing communities throughout Minnesota and the rest of the country,” he said.
The building design is by Doran Architecture and the general contractor is Doran Construction, both based in Bloomington. Project financing is provided by Choice Bank in Golden Valley, MN.
For more information about current housing options and availability at Founders Ridge, contact Dawn Harff, Housing Advisor at 952-946-2000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.foundersridgephs.org.