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Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community is expanding by adding an 18-acre complex called Meadowmont.

The 18 new accommodations will include one- and two-bedroom duplexes and fourplexes. Ground will be broken when 14 of the homes are reserved (12 are reserved now), executive director Ken Kramer said. Construction is scheduled to finished next year.

Givens Highland Farms is a locally-owned, private not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. An affiliate of Givens Estate, Inc. since 2012, the community is located on 50 acres and has 214 independent living accommodations, as well as an assisted living and a skilled nursing facility. There are some 350 residents in the community, of which 260 live in independent living accommodations.

“We have undertaken this expansion because all retirement communities, including Highland Farms, must remain viable,” Kramer said. “We have 18 acres designated for Meadowmont. We have created a new product to satisfy the needs and desires of prospective residents who want modest square footage and an open floor plan.”

Future resident Barbara Griffin is excited about moving to Meadowmont in a year or so.

“Henry and I have always planned to move to a continuing care retirement community when the time comes. We are 78 years old now and feel this is the time. We are ready to enjoy a maintenance-free home, less cooking and cleaning, many planned activities and many wonderful people. The availability of health care as needed is also important to us.

“We moved to Black Mountain from Ann Arbor, Mich. in 2010 after enjoying our second home here for 10 years. We have made many special friends, including several folks living at Highland Farms, and are involved in the local community.”

Although she and her husband have been on the waiting list of a couple other continuing care retirement community, “we decided it would be silly to leave Black Mountain and all the ties we have made here,” she said. Their home at Meadowmont will be the first new home they’ve lived in.”

Kramer believes the floor plans that have been chosen for Meadowmont provide additional living options for potential residents. A new nursing skilled nursing and assisted living facility will be built when the third phase of Meadowmont is finished.

Floor plan options include one- and two-bedroom homes, all on one level, ranging from 1,132 to 1,550 square feet. They feature large windows, cathedral ceilings and great rooms that will expand the natural light entering the homes from all directions. The two-bedroom plans offer patios that make the most of the mountain views and moderate climate. Front porches on the one-bedroom homes emphasize the strong sense of community.

The Griffins chose a 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath duplex.

“All units have a large garage with storage space and a covered porch-patio,” Griffin said. “The architecture is Craftsman-style, which is harmonious with much new construction in the Black Mountain area. The neighborhood will be beautiful.”

Kramer said the money from the Meadowmont project will build a new skilled nursing and assisted living facility. The community has the land to build up to 72 new homes. The actual number of new units will depend on demand, he said.

Pat Rice, director of marketing, worked with a waiting list of about 100 people to determine what people wanted at Meadowmont. Future residents Henry and Barbara Griffin were on that list.

The Griffins concluded that prices at Meadowmont were competitive with other continuing care retirement communities they visited. Entrance and monthly fees were less than they encountered. .

The freestanding homes at Givens Highland Farms have a higher entrance fee than Meadowmont, Rice said.

“This project is not just about expansion but is also about offering better choices for future residents,” she said. Meadowmont, the first new construction since 2000, will serve residents between 61 years old and their early 80s, she said. The rest of the campus serves residents in the age range of 62-102.

With the completion of the Meadowmont Project, the campus will grow to 70 acres. Three hundred and fifty people live there, served by 220 employees and a budget of $15 million, which is a third larger than Black Mountain’s budget.

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Retirement communities have changed over the past several years.

“Retirement communities have taken on a whole new reality,” Kramer said. “Today it is a life choice. Research shows that people in retirement communities live longer and healthier lives, and it all comes down to the interaction with others. Today’s retirement communities have removed the isolation factor of retirement.”

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