Starting this month, senior citizens who need help with daily activities have a new living option in Anne Arundel County.
Brightview South River is an $11 million assisted-living rental community that will open in mid-December for residents 55 and older who can no longer live independently, including people with Alzheimer's disease and other memory impairments.
The three-story building off the 3000 block of Solomon's Island Road in Edgewater will be constructed by the Shelter Group of Baltimore, a specialist in multifamily and senior living communities.
Representatives say more than half of the 90 South River residences have been reserved and the first occupants will start moving in around Dec. 15, assuming the project gets the required permits in time.
"It's been well received," said Andrew Teeters, senior development director for Shelter. "So far, we've had great interest."
"We anticipate that we'll have 50 percent of the apartments occupied within the first 60 days," said Frank Krohnert, executive director of Brightview South River.
Pam Jordan, director of Anne Arundel County's Department of Aging and Disabilities, said the community is a welcome addition to the area. It has been more than five years since a senior living community that specializes in memory care opened nearby.
"This department is very pleased that they are located to serve clients in southern Anne Arundel County," Jordan said. "It is much needed."
Founded in 1977 by Mark K. Joseph, Shelter has a division that has been operating senior living communities since 1999 and now has 22 in nine states. Brightview South River is one of Shelter's eight senior living communities in Maryland and its first assisted-living community in Anne Arundel County
Located at 8 Lee Airpark Drive, next to a small airport, Brightview South River has 64 residences designated for assisted living and 26 in a separate wing for people with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments. The residences include studios, one-bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments.
The design by Hord Coplan Macht of Baltimore features a wide range of common spaces, including a main dining room, a private dining room, a cafe that will be open 24 hours a day, rooms for crafts and hobbies, a fitness center, hair salon, library, "brain fitness room," laundry areas, doctors' offices, gazebo, gardens and patios.
The memory care area, called Wellspring Village, has its own dining room and other common areas, indoors and out.
The community is affiliated with the Anne Arundel Health System.
Throughout the building, wall colors are bright, and large windows let in plenty of natural light. Spaces are intentionally noninstitutional, and the architects have incorporated double-sided fireplaces in common areas and other touches that extend the residential feel. Residents are free to furnish their apartments as they wish, or Brightview staffers will help them.
According to the developers, the South River project was designed with a variety of environmentally friendly features, such as a green roof, an electric car charging station, native landscaping, bike racks and building materials made with recycled content. Harkins Builders was the construction manager. The architects designed the building to achieve a silver rating in the U. S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
Krohnert said Brightview is also working to establish strong connections with the surrounding community, so the residents feel that they are part of Anne Arundel County. The building is next to a shopping center and a farm. A shuttle bus will take residents to places of worship, to medical or cultural facilities, even boating if they wish. In addition, Krohnert said, Brightview is making arrangements with area high schools to identify students who might like to spend time with residents as part of a community service project.
Over time, he said, residents will form a board and determine what activities they want to pursue.
"We'll do whatever they're interested in," he said. "This is their home."