By Amy Box Fellhoelter
Some people might describe the newly opened Parkview Retirement Community for active seniors as posh or elegant, but a better description for the independent living facility would be family and community, which is echoed by the residents as well. One resident said, “I love it, oh my goodness, yes, …. it’s just a beautiful place and there’s so many nice people.”
After fifteen months of construction, the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, May 17, 2019. Knoxville Chamber of Commerce employees, Parkview residents and staff members, and McBride Company employees alongside Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill, celebrated Parkview’s newest West Knoxville location at 770 Broome Road. Tours of the facility and refreshments were offered following the ceremony.
“All of this is for the residents and by the residents. This particular vignette grew out of the idea of a small town to meet their needs,” said Jay McBride, McBride Company owner, as he pointed to the second floor designed to give residents an “Andy in Mayberry” feel.
“Our competition is the home, so that is what we are trying to create, that kind of environment. Part of our challenge is we are not assisted living. People don’t choose to go to assisted living, but people have to choose to live here,” explained McBride. With 25 percent of the Parkview Maryville location full after its first month of operation, and most of the first-floor one-bedroom apartments at Parkview Broome Road already accounted for, it somehow doesn’t take long for word to get out and for people to make that choice. “Before this facility was even done, people would put a deposit down and didn’t even want to see their apartment first,” said Heather Schultz, McBride Company employee.
The many reasons to move into Parkview seem endless. Included amenities with every apartment fee are high-speed internet, cable television, phone, shuttle service, cocktail hour, exercise classes, a library, game room, puzzle room, movie theatre, two full-service chef-prepared meals daily, apartment housekeeping and linen laundry service, and two walking trails. Massage and stylist appointments are available in their spa, beauty salon, and barber shop for an extra charge. These are just the features available on property, but there are even more opportunities for residents to experience life off property too. Active seniors might be an understatement with all of the outings residents can encounter planned by a full-time activities director. Past daytrips have included attending museums, concerts, festivals, shopping, eating at a variety restaurants, and strawberry picking.
Besides its family environment feel, the choice to live in Parkview remains obvious walking through the facility. “If it looks antique, it is,” says Parkview Chief Financial Officer Karen Spires, commenting on the décor chosen for the new location having been specifically bought for the generation and comfort of its residents. Attention to detail is commonplace throughout including a different identifying scene at the end of each hall for residents to remember where their rooms are located. In a matter of four weeks, the facility transformed from empty into fully furnished with beautiful antique pieces of artwork and furniture acquired from estate sales, auctions, and furniture stores all hand-picked by Marga McBride, Parkview owner and wife of Jay McBride. Each facility is a mirror image of each other which provides a distinctive Parkview signature.
“We try to differentiate ourselves with the covered patios, decks, and the size of the rooms. Every living room has a back door,” said McBride who became inspired with the idea for Parkview with his love for Knoxville and a need for independent living for his mother-in-law. Daughter of McBride and Parkview Activities Director Becca Sparks explained, “It’s important that they have outdoor space, because that also gives the residents more purpose. If you walk around, you’ll see they take pride in their patios and have plants all over them and nice chairs.” Likewise, natural light and outdoor living areas are part of the beauty of the facility, “It’s important to keep their minds going, so we are always generating activity for their bodies. We try to think of things that are out-of-the-box so that it sets us apart so our residents are always thriving,” added Sparks who plans multiple on-site activities as well.
“We are a community, we are not a corporation. That’s my personal goal … is to instill that family environment. I encourage people to get in a community and enjoy your life, whether it is this community or not. Just enjoy living life,” said Parkview Chief Operating Officer Darlene Adams. “If somebody is ready to move in, this place sells itself because it is not only beautiful but we instill a family environment here where people care about each other, and community sells itself.” Staying in community is vital as people age since research links individuals with the highest level of involvement in social relationships to longevity. Also, The Harvard School of Public Health published the following in the American Journal of Public Health, “Seniors can help stave off memory loss by maintaining active social lives.”
Besides comfortable, high-quality apartments, Parkview makes security and safety a priority. The facility is wheelchair friendly and handicap accessible, and has management on duty 24 hours a day. Each resident wears a Lifeline medical alert pendant and must use the wellness disk board, a board located at the end of each hallway with a wellness disk for each resident. Residents must leave their apartments to flip over their disks by 10:30 a.m. or a staff member will call or physically check on them to ensure they are active and awake.
Apartment pricing ranges from $2250 to $4200 for a studio apartment with 487 sq. ft. to a deluxe two-bedroom with 1,035 sq. ft., alongside two other floor plan options in between. The Broome Road facility houses 100 apartments and employs a staff of more than 25 members to make Parkview feel like home to the seniors who live there. A guest apartment is even supplied for the family and visitors of residents as another wonderful benefit.
The day was truly one to celebrate says Sparks, “What’s amazing about this day is I got to see it from when it was just a conversation. This is my first ribbon cutting, so it is very special. I get to share with my dad his vision which is to this finishing point.” And now Sparks says she wants to celebrate life with the residents everyday as she plans activities and builds relationships with them.
Two more retirement communities of Parkview are coming soon on Emory Road and another in Tullahoma, Tennessee. They are both scheduled to open in approximately eighteen months. To schedule a tour of the Maryville or Knoxville facilities, or for more information, call 865-357-2288 or visit retireatparkview.com. Or check out the many activities the residents have enjoyed at www.facebook.com/retireatparkview/