Well on the way to completion, Founders Ridge welcomed its first residents to The Brownstones row-style homes this week. Located at 6610 Auto Club Road, Bloomington, Minnesota, The Brownstones are the final phase of Founders Ridge, which was was originally conceptualized in 2008, approved for construction in 2010, and the first phase opened for occupancy in 2012. The Terrace II senior independent living apartments opened in September 2020.
Surrounded by boxes and cartons stacked “sky high,” Barb and Paul Chapman were smiling and taking it all in yesterday — one day after they moved into their new Brownstone home. “Wow!” said Barb as they looked up at the 11-foot ceilings in their 2-bedroom home. “We’re very impressed. It’s even better than we imagined,” she said. Their spacious second-floor apartment also features a sunroom and deck with an eastern view across the Minnesota Valley Country Club golf course.
Moving day was, in fact, the first time they had stepped foot inside the building. “We had not seen the place until we moved in,” said Barb. Paul explained that, although they are South Twin Cities Metro area natives, they have spent the past 17 years in Michigan. Distance, coupled with the limitations of the pandemic, didn’t deter their goal to move back to be near their children and grandchildren. Paul’s 104-year-old mother has lived at Heartwood, a PHS community in the Brainerd Lakes area, for the past 9 years. “Mom’s experience has been so good, that’s why we decided to look at a Presbyterian Homes community in the Twin Cities,” said Paul. “We only want to move one more time and have additional care and services available if we need them,” he added, pointing to assisted living and memory care at Founders Ridge as well as the in-home services of Optage and priority placement in other PHS communities.
When the Chapmans contacted Dawn Harff, Housing Advisor at Founders Ridge, she helped them navigate their options across the distances 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. By reserving well before the building was complete, they were able to choose paint and granite countertop colors, as well as upgrade to hard-wood floors in the living areas, and ceiling fans in every room. “It felt like we were building the place ourselves,” said Paul.
When they arrived, Paul and Barb were warmly welcomed by the Founders Ridge staff. “Everyone has been so helpful and gracious; above and beyond what we expected,” said Barb. Paul agreed, “The staff has extended themselves and even the construction team stopped by to ensure everything was in order.”
Now the couple plans to take advantage of living in a 55+ community where they can make new friends. “We were especially attracted to all the activities offered here,” said Barb. She is especially eager to meet her new neighbors, join the knitting group, take up exercising and, eventually when COVID limitations are lifted, participate in bible study and worship.
Paul is looking forward to participating in the men’s’ fellowship group. “I expect some of the men are older than me. They have so many different and interesting experiences. Hearing their stories would be so great,” he said.
The Brownstones add 40 row-style homes to the campus. Founders Ridge’s expansion also added 71 new senior living apartments at The Terrace II. Reservations are being accepted for the remaining one- and two-bedroom apartments in both The Terrace and The Brownstones. In addition to the new apartment homes, the campus has expanded the dining room, added a larger group fitness room, more underground parking, electric car charging stations, a new staff lounge and nicely appointed common areas.
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 current social distancing and group size guidelines. All visitors must complete a screening process at each visit before entering the buildings and wearing a mask for the duration of their visit. 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 developed by Senior Housing Partners (SHP) and interior design is provided by Senior Lifestyle Design (SLD). Located in Roseville, SHP and SLD are the development and interior design arms of Presbyterian Homes & Services. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.foundersridgephs.org.