Building anything near White Rock Lake can be a political minefield — where opinions run hot and consensus is notoriously hard to find.
C. C. Young seemed to break that curse.
The Vista, a new 10-story assisted living complex, is currently under construction. Unlike other lake-side developments, it’s a project that no one seemed to mind too much. That’s likely because of the nature of the nonprofit’s mission; C. C. Young has supported the elderly since the operation first opened in 1922.
“Who would be against this project? Support for seniors is really important to us, especially nonprofit care,” says Carol Walters, an East Mockingbird neighbor for 22 years. “[C. C. Young has] been here forever and they’ve always been a good neighbor to us, so it was easy to get behind this.”
C. C. Young’s mission is so varied it’s almost hard to define, but it describes itself as a “continuous care facility for people age 55 and older.” Programs range from medical, like memory care and skilled nursing care, to more social, such as the myriad classes and activities offered to keep seniors busy every day, both those living in the facility and those who live in the neighborhood.
“About 95 percent of our programs are open to the public,” says Denise Aver-Phillips, vice president of community outreach and a bundle of energy who knows every resident by first name.
“We are always inviting people in to enjoy the campus.”
But the needs of seniors in our neighborhood are growing and changing, C. C. Young CEO Russell Crews says. More want to live independently and are eager to move in for the sense of community. Currently, medical care is spread across four buildings, but in 2013 the team had a vision to consolidate all of it into one space that could flex to the needs of the community. It would be easier on patients and staff to keep the high-touch services under one 10-story roof. The other buildings will be reallocated to independent living.
“This will allow us to be dynamic,” Crews says.
Flexibility makes good financial sense. Traditional units are defined as memory care or assisted living or skilled nursing, meaning facilities are limited to the number of beds they have for each. At The Vista, all beds will be approved for any level of care, so that rooms can be allocated as needed if the demand for memory care is higher than skilled nursing, for example.
“I think we’re the only ones in Texas who are doing this,” Crews says. “But I am guessing you’ll see it more in the future. It just makes sense.”
It also made sense to the neighbors, the plan commission and the city council, who all signed off on the 325,000-square-foot project, which will be adjacent to the existing Blanton Assisted Living center. Its location, tucked into a hill with underground parking, means it won’t be too visible from the lake, although residents will have some breathtaking views. To build The Vista, C. C. Young secured a $130 million loan in the form of bond.
“It was the third largest tax-exempt bond issued in 2016 in Texas,” Crews says.
White Rock Lake neighbors Grant Warner and Josh Williams of D2 Architecture are overseeing the project with builder Hill & Wilkinson. Construction should be complete by summer 2018, at which point clients can start moving in. In all, the addition will up C. C. Young’s capacity from 474 to 521 residents, which will increase to 730 with another planned addition, who will have added services in the form of a new gym and pool for physical therapy, a rehabilitation garden, a meditation chapel and more.
“It will allow more people to age in their own neighborhood,” Aver-Phillips says.
C. C. Young offers tons of free activities, from movie nights to art classes to Wii bowling — find them all at ccyoung.org/lifestyle-dining/campus-activities-calendars/