Developers are flocking to League City to provide housing for retirees and seniors, building everything from age-restricted apartment complexes for active, independent residents to facilities for those who need full-time memory or dementia care.
Developers are building new facilities, while existing ones are being expanded, resulting in hundreds of senior living units under way in the north county city.
The developments represent a variety of options in senior communities, depending on a resident’s needs. But a common denominator among them is they cater to a savvy and strong-minded clientele, whether it’s the resident or adult children of aging parents who have high expectations about amenities and services.
Rejecting dreary, institutional styles, the new developments are offering everything from media rooms to activity centers to happy hours for residents in what are meant to be bright, cozy settings.
Much of the demand is driven by League City’s proximity to water — Clear Lake — and mild climate, while a good deal also is being fueled by adult children who want to move their parents nearer to them, said Lynda Canas, director of operations for The Cottages at Clear Lake.
The Cottages at Clear Lake is an Alzheimer’s and memory care assisted living facility at 450 Landing Blvd.
Demand is so high The Cottages at Clear Lake is expanding by building a 48-room Alzheimer’s care facility at 400 Landing Blvd. The new property will offer private rooms.
Many retirees are moving to Texas because there’s no state income tax, Canas said. Another League City lure for retirees is its proximity to rapidly growing medical services and hospitals in nearby Webster and League City.
“I think what we’re seeing is so many people wanting to retire and moving to the Clear Lake area,” Canas said. “For a lot of people, their kids are here and now they’re retiring here. We get a lot of people from North Carolina, Arizona ... ,” she said.
With technology, consumers are getting savvy, intensely researching facilities before they or a family member moves in, Canas said.
The Cottages offers recreational therapists for activities, which include a “Happy Hour” with music, dancing, sparkling grape juice and nonalcoholic beer.
Orchard Park at Victory Lakes, under way at 2770 W. Walker St., will serve 60 assisted living residents. In a separate, secure wing, it will serve another 40 patients in need of Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
Its assisted living facility, much like an apartment complex with private units, offers a major dining room, a movie theater room, activity rooms and business centers, where residents can use computers to Skype with out-of-town families, said Donna Crabtree, regional director of operations for Meridian Senior Living. Meridian will manage the community being developed by McFarlin Group and Stroud Development, both Dallas-based companies. There’ll be courtyards, an outdoor fireplace and walking paths.
A small bistro where residents can have coffee, tea and lemonade or enjoy a continental breakfast and play dominoes and other games, also will be among amenities, Crabtree said.
Although assisted living residents need some medical care, they are often very energetic, engaged and active, Crabtree said.
Décor will be bright and residents can choose the paint in their rooms, she said. Windows are big and apartments open up to courtyards.
There’s a high demand for senior communities in League City, Crabtree said. Crabtree also is seeing that demand driven by adult children who are moving their parents near them, she said. Orchard Park is expected to obtain its certificate of occupancy in October.
Its dementia care facility won’t just be a block of rooms in a hallway, but also will have common space and areas for residents to socialize. There also will be a variety of “life stations,” meant to evoke comforting memories for residents. For example, some women gravitate to a life station that simulates a nursery, where they recall caring for their babies. Some stations are set up to recall an office or place of business, where residents feel comfortable.
Orchard Park at Victory Lakes is among a growing number of communities using Snoezelen (pronounced snu-zelen) treatments to ease agitation, wandering and other symptoms that afflict sufferers of dementia.
Snoezelen rooms are filled with soft-colored lights, plush pillows, relaxing music and pleasant aromas.
Other retirement community developments under way in League City include:
• The Woodlands-based Methodist Retirement Communities is building The Crossings on the corner of FM 518 and FM 270. The development is slated to include 108 independent/residential apartment homes, 36 assisted living apartments, 24 memory support suites, 20 short-term rehabilitation units and 28 skilled nursing units for long-term care. Construction is expected to begin by the end of next year.
• Mariposa Apartments, a multifamily complex developer, is building the 176-unit Mariposa Apartment Homes on FM 517 east of Calder Road in Bay Colony. The development is for low- to moderate-income adults 55 and older.