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Retiring baby boomers boon for assisted living

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MONTICELLO — A 50-unit assisted-living apartment center for retirees will be built on development land close to Kirby Medical Center in Monticello.

The opening date for the multimillion-dollar The Villas of Hollybrook facility is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2013 on a five-acre site in the development area the Medical Center calls Jefferson Parkway.

And Charleston-based The Villas of Hollybrook company holds an option on additional acreage it may use to build a “memory care center” in the future, offering specialized assisted living for Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Reginald Phillips, the owner of the family-run Hollybrook firm, already operates assisted-living centers in Shelbyville, Newton, Marshall and Effingham. An open house for a new center in Herrin was held last week, and another center is due to open in Chatham near Springfield within the next month. Phillips, who opened his first assisted-living center in 2009, has set a goal of having 30 built within the next five years.

Denise Wells, executive director of the 46-apartment Marshall facility and a company spokeswoman, said America’s graying baby boomers fueled demand for alternative approaches to retirement living. She said that means maintaining a sense of independence while enjoying a “resort” lifestyle.

“People need to be able to take the quality time they have left and do want they want to do without having to worry about the housework and the cooking and the cleaning,” Wells said. “We take care of all that.”

Residents pay a monthly rent that covers utilities (except phone) and three meals a day. Activities and outings are organized, and residents can participate as much or as little as they want to. Wells would not discuss prices but said The Villas of Hollybrook lifestyle is very competitive with the costs of running and maintaining your own home and paying taxes, utilities and living expenses.

“You can actually live at the Villas cheaper than the cost of paying for all that,” she added.

The arrival of the assisted-living facility fits in well with the long-term Kirby Medical Center plan to see complementary developments spring up in Jefferson Parkway, which covers 80 acres.

“We are very excited to have reached an agreement with The Villas of Hollybrook,” said Steven Tenhouse, Kirby Medical Center CEO. “An assisted living facility … will create new jobs and help generations of families stay in Piatt County.”

It is expected the business will have a staff of up to 25. For information on the Villas of Hollybrook apartments, call 962-0943.

treid@herald-review.com|421-7977

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