Senior community opens

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

The welcome mat is out at the city’s newest senior community.

Residents have been moving into The Commons at Centerbrooke, a $12.5 million apartment complex that caters to the city’s growing 55-and-over population, for the past two weeks.

“It’s great,” said Earl Ferguson, president of the Richmond-based Artcraft Development Co. “We want our residents to be here for a long time … and enjoy living in their new home.”


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Residents will find all the amenities n and none of the stressors n of homes at Centerbrooke, a four-story brick building where every apartment opens onto a grassy courtyard.

There are plenty of walking trails around the 13-acre property, a pond that will be stocked with fish, even space set aside for residents with green thumbs to grow their own vegetables and flowers.

Pets are welcome, said Kim Haslip, senior property manager for all six Artcraft senior complexes in Hampton Roads. Centerbrooke even has a bark park, an area where residents can let their dogs off leashes to roam and play.

The 132 apartment units are light and airy, and most come with their own patio or deck. The complex offers both one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $935 to $975 monthly.

Residents will find a myriad of other amenities: a fitness center, computer lab, an on-site beauty salon, a conference room and activities room, a van to take interested residents on organized outings and the like.

Centerbrooke’s proximity to medical offices and Obici Hospital, as well as the ongoing retail and commercial development nearby, make it particularly enticing for seniors, Ferguson said.

While Centerbrooke only accepts seniors, it is not an assisted-living facility.

“We an independent senior living facility,” Ferguson said. “We are for people who want to be active but are at a point in their lives where they are ready to downsizes and live more simply.

“They don’t want the worries of yard work or maintaining a big house any more.”

Although just nine people have moved in thus far, there are more than two dozen in the application process, Haslip said. Many of them are coming from outside Virginia: Michigan, New Jersey, even Mexico.

Now that the apartments are open, she expects the number of rentals to shoot up fairly quickly.

“Traffic has picked up since we opened,” she said.

Centerbrooke fills an existing gap in the local senior housing market, Ferguson said.

“It’s hard for seniors to find reasonably price rental housing today,” he said. “We believe there is a large pent up demand for this type of housing in Suffolk.”

Ferguson is already considering another project in the city.

“We like Suffolk a lot,” said Ferguson. “This area is booming but it’s booming responsibly, in a carefully planned way.”

For more information on The Commons at Centerbrooke, call 925-7955 or go to the Web site,