When Tim Morgan initially marketed his company’s new 48-unit, two-story senior living center on Timber Drive East, more than 300 people called seeking applications.
Morgan, the vice president of Evergreen Construction Company in Raleigh, mailed out a little more than 300 applications, and nearly all of them were returned completely filled out. So that meant more than two-thirds of those applications would not be accepted because there was not enough room for the rest of the applicants.
“It was a huge demand,” Morgan said of the new Timber Spring Community Living. “(Senior citizens) is the largest segment of population that is growing. Garner hasn’t had one of these types of developments in years, since back in the early 90’s.”
Tony Beasley, the director of inspections for Garner, said demand for senior living communities has increased over the years.
But Garner only has two other communities where those 55 and older can live together, and only one other senior living center. One of the communities, the Village of Aversboro, is a community of single-family homes, built six years ago. The other, Olde School Commons, is similar to Timber Spring Community Living.
“To me it’s evident based on three things,” Beasley said. He pointed to each community being sold out and having a waiting list.
“And for this senior living center to have 300 applications for 48 units, that’s your true tell-tell sign,” he said. “When you can open up a facility with 100 percent pre-release in first week of accepting applications, I believe that is evident that the demand is high.”
Beasely said demand is high for senior living facilities because of the accessibility to different areas and affordability of the community.
“I think it’s the change in people’s perspective personally,” he said. “I think the fact that we have a thriving community in the suburb of Raleigh where seniors can access anything they like, we’re an attractive community for senior citizens. “
Beasely said the town is currently helping developers find more places to build similar communities for senior citizens in Garner.
Jeff Swain, 71, and his wife Nancy Anderson, 69, moved from upstate New York in 2009 to Garner to live at Village of Aversboro. Anderson said she and her husband didn’t necessarily move here because it was a community specifically for people 55 and older, but it had all of the qualities they wanted in a home.
Both said the Village of Aversboro has allowed them to live the type of active and healthy lifestyle they want to live. The house design is accessible to a person with any type of disabilities and residents do not have to mow their own lawns, Swain said.
“Many of our residents volunteer at schools, volunteer at the chamber of commerce, serve on the board of directors,” Henderson added. “We are a community that is involved and gives back because we ourselves have had good lives. We want to continue that.”