55-Plus Communities: Senior Housing in Luxury Developments

Low-maintenance luxury

Nick DiMaggio and his wife wanted to eliminate all of the inconveniences of home ownership without giving up their autonomy or space. So two years ago, just a few weeks after his 55th birthday, the retired Pelham police officer bought a two-bedroom home in Glassbury Court, a luxury development of stand-alone homes that opened in Cold Spring in May 2009.

“This community is designed for the senior or empty-nester looking to eliminate all exterior maintenance,” says Director of Sales Donna Blais about the environmentally-friendly community.

“Most of the town homes we looked at were row homes,” says DiMaggio. “Here, you don’t see your neighbors unless you ring their bells. And the location is absolutely beautiful.” Indeed. The community is nestled on 40 acres directly under the Fishkill Ridge, offering a marvelous view of the mountainous landscape astride the Hudson River.

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glassbury court exteriorMid-Valley luxury housing options include Glassbury Court in Cold Spring

While the community does not offer any health-care amenities, the houses are intended for tenants to age into them, with master suites on the ground floor and handicapped accessibility. Ranging from 1,800 to 2,600 square feet, the units offer plenty of bells and whistles: heated two-car garages, granite countertops, marble bathrooms, high ceilings, high-end appliances, even an optional elevator. The Glassbury Court properties start in the high $300,000s and climb to the low $600,000s. But they offer common amenities such as a clubhouse, heated pool, tennis courts, putting green, a 40-acre park with walking trails, a fishing lake, and a dog park.

An added attraction for residents is the social scene. “We’ve met a lot of nice people here and went on a lot of outings together,” says DiMaggio. “You have a nice mixed age group here — people from their mid-50s to their late 70s.”

As an alternative to buying, there are also luxury senior rental properties popping up. At Vineyard Commons in Highland, two- and three-bedroom apartments as large as 1,800 square feet rent for less than $2,000 a month. The perks at this facility abound. Bistro 300 is an upscale restaurant located on the premises that is open to the public. A theater houses dances, performances, and art shows, while the athletically inclined can hit the links on the golf course or work out in the fitness center.

vineyard commons exterior

vineyard commons poolVineyard Commons residents have the use of an indoor pool

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One Orange County development currently under construction hopes to appeal to sophisticated seniors who are looking to downsize but want to avoid a cookie-cutter community. At Blackburne Farm in Campbell Hall, all of the 26 homes — which will start at about $500,000 and average approximately 2,000 square feet — will be custom built, with varying facades and styles. “It’s a boutique community,” says Joe Matta of Masterwork Home, who will be building the new additions. “It’s a little more high-end. For many people, their tastes mature as they age. This is for the people who like unique smaller places that are well designed.”

Matta stresses that the development will retain a rural feel (63 percent of the property will remain as open space) while also fostering a strong sense of community. Residents can connect with one another at a variety of places including the clubhouse, the enclosed dog park, the community garden, and a pond where active seniors can fly fish or ice skate. They can also take advantage of the 719-acre Thomas Bull Memorial Park, which abuts the property. “Recreation is huge for this population,” says Matta, noting that future plans include a path down to the Wallkill River and a new equestrian center. “Mowing, plowing, we take care of all that,” says Matta. “So people can really enjoy their lives.”

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