A national developer of retirement communities is seeking to win approval for a $10 million project near Sixth Street and Folks Road in West Lawrence.
Vancouver, Wash.-based Hawthorn Retirement Group is finalizing plans for a three-story, 124-unit building that will house independent retirees.
“The residents who live with us can do all the day-to-day stuff that we all do,” said Dan Roach, the lead designer for the project. “The primary reason they live with us is that they don’t want to drive anymore.”
The project will be on the east end of the new Bauer Farm area, a northwest Lawrence retail and residential development designed to be pedestrian-friendly.
Roach said Hawthorn became interested in Lawrence after reviewing the city’s demographics. He said the company believes Lawrence will have a significant number of retirees in coming years, although he said the company’s focus won’t be on trying to attract new retirees to the market.
“There are a lot of people who have spent their entire careers in Lawrence, and we believe they’ll want to stay in Lawrence,” Roach said. “We try not to oversimplify it, but we often refer to it as the retired school teacher market — somebody who has a reasonable retirement but is still looking for a good value.”
All the living units in the projects will be suites, meaning that none of them will have kitchens. Instead, the facility will have a communal dining area that will serve three meals per day. Other amenities will include a swimming pool, community garden, a shared kitchen for people who want to cook their own meals, a beauty parlor, an exercise room, and a chapel.
Roach said the company hopes the project — which will require some planning approvals by City Hall — can begin in the late summer or fall, and be open about one year later.