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Reinventing Retirement Community
by Catherine Reagor - Jan. 11, 2013
Housing developments in Arizona, including Del Webb's first Sun City, redefined retirement for the entire country nearly 50 years ago.
Now, Scottsdale-based real-estate firm DMB wants to reinvent retirement living for Baby Boomers on 1,200 acres in its Buckeye community of Verrado.
The developer doesn't have a plan for building a new type of retirement community yet.
"We don't want to repeat developments of the past," said Nick Taratsas, senior vice present and general manager of the DMB's active-adult community in Verrado. "The Baby Boomer generation has different expectations of how they want to live the last half or quarter of their lives."
Before approaching architects or land planners about a look, feel or design for its first retirement community, the company is going to the experts on aging: doctors, gerontologists, fitness gurus, retirees and Boomers.
DMB will start running advertisements next week asking retirees and winter visitors in Arizona to participate in a survey about their lifestyles, housing needs and wants.
At the end of the month, the firm is bringing in experts on aging from across the country for two days to discuss their findings and opinions on how to build a retirement community for Baby Boomers. On the guest list: Dr. Walter Bortz, auther of "Roadmap to 100"; Dr. Jim Nicolai, medical director of the Andrew Weil M.D. Integrative Wellness Program at Miraval in Tucson; and members of the Gray Institute, a group leading education and research on the biomechanics of human movement.
By the end of the process, DMB wants to have connected with thousands of future and current retires in Arizona to ask what they want in a community.
After conducting its research, the developer will go to its architects and land-planners to start creating its brand of active-adult community.
"We aren't going with sticks and bricks first," said Taratsas, who worked at Del Webb. "Nothing is on the drawing board until we spend time with experts and aging Americans."
Besides its work at Verrado, DMB is developing 150,000 acres of communities in the Western U.S., including DC Ranch and Silverleaf in Scottsdale, Marley Park in Surprise and Eastmark in Mesa.
Taratsas said the company has been focusing on its first active-adult community in Verrado and hasn't delved into plans for similar developments elsewhere.
The first of the more than 3,000 houses for retirees expected to be built in Verrado could be for sale in late 2014, he said.
Boomers and retirees who want to sign up for the survey or find out more about the new community can go to VisionVerrado.com or call 623-215-6077. Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2013/01/09/20130109reinventing-retirement-community.html?nclick_check=1#ixzz2Hz6wZPuS
*The first phase of development for the Victory District is located north of the Sunrise wash and east of Verrado Way, and is extended to the north.
For community emergencies after hours that include incidents at The Center on Main that threaten loss of property without immediate action, call 877-398-1936. For all other emergencies, dial 911.