Living Here Guide

Charlotte is a boom town for retirement living

Chester Reeves, from left, Jenky Brooks and Glenn Monteith watch chef Joseph Unrue make his OSG (Oh So Good) chicken salad wrap at Aldersgate.
Chester Reeves, from left, Jenky Brooks and Glenn Monteith watch chef Joseph Unrue make his OSG (Oh So Good) chicken salad wrap at Aldersgate.

Driving around the Charlotte area, you can’t help but notice the proliferation of senior housing. “Ten thousand people a day turn 65 in the United States. It’s a fast-moving train that won’t slow down anytime soon,” says Centralina Area Agency on Aging’s Debi Lee

All the new construction means the 55 and better crowd has more living choices than ever before, and the Carolinas are attractive with its moderate climate, proximity to the mountains and coast and reasonable cost of living.

If you are looking for a compilation of all the senior housing options in the Charlotte area, you’re out of luck. Various state agencies license assisted living centers and nursing homes, and senior developments are approved on the municipality level and governed by the individual homeowners association. One resource: The independent is a regional website and publication that lists many senior housing opportunities.

To give you an idea of what the senior market has to offer, here’s a sampling of senior housing options across the Mecklenburg County area.

55 and Over Communities

What they are: Active lifestyle senior communities with single-family, detached homes.

Examples in the area: Sun City Carolina Lakes in Indian Land, S.C., built out with more than 3,400 units and anchored by an 18-hole golf course.

Carolina Orchards by Del Webb, in Fort Mill, S.C., will have 1,000 units when finished and offer a swimming pool, gardening plots and a dog park.

Cresswind Charlotte by Kolter Homes on the outskirts of Mint Hill will feature 800 homes. The development is adjacent to Larkhaven Golf Club and sits near the Novant Medical Center Mint Hill currently under construction. Prices start in the upper $200,000s.

On the smaller end, five new senior developments are approved for Cornelius, for a total of 367 homes. Just across the county line in Denver, Shea Homes is building Trilogy at Lake Norman. Homes are priced from $240,000-$660,000, and residents have access to the Freedom Boat Club, where they can charter a boat for the day.

Senior Apartments

What they are: Apartments where the rent often includes meals, utilities and other amenities. Some don’t require a long-term commitment.

Examples in the area: Providence Meadows, on Providence Road near the Arboretum, has 133 units with rents starting at $2,195 a month. Rent includes three meals a day, utilities, housekeeping, movie theater, full-time activities director, full-time bus driver and more.

Waltonwood Providence, also located on Providence Road in south Charlotte, features a 165-unit complex that offers independent living (starting at $4,195 per month), assisted living (starting at $4,795 a month) and and memory care (starting at $5,595 per month). Waltonwood Cotswold, on Randolph Road, features 91 assisted living units and 26 memory care units.

Overture Cotswold, a 159-unit restricted age apartment complex expected to be completed in summer of 2018, comes with 11,000 square feet of amenity space. Developer Greystar also plans to build Overture Providence, 171 senior units, on Providence Road just past I-485.

Willow Grove, an age-restricted apartment complex located in Mint Hill, features 118 units.

Brightmore of South Charlotte is a full-service retirement community, where residents can move through different levels of care when necessary, without large entrance fees. Monthly rent includes some meals, activities, most utilities and other amenities. Brightmore currently offers 178 living units including independent living (starting at $3,585 per month), assisted living (starting at $4,920 per month), memory care, skilled nursing care and rehab.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities/Life Plan Communities

What they are: Residents pay a substantial entry fee (sometimes partially refundable depending on the community) and then a monthly fee that covers most living expenses, including some meals, utilities, housekeeping, activities, transportation and healthcare. The monthly fee may or may not increase as residents move through different levels of care depending on the community.

Examples in the area: The Pines at Davidson sits on 140 acres in the college town and offers 250 residences for independent living and 81 residences for assisted living and skilled nursing care. Entrance fees begin at $42,800, with a $2,228 monthly fee that increases with higher levels of care.

Aldersgate, on Shamrock Drive in east Charlotte, has recently been upgraded, with more improvements coming. It currently has 249 independent living units and 107 assisted living and memory care units. A new addition, set to open next summer, will add 62 apartments and villas. Entrance fees start at $82,374, with monthly fees beginning at $1,893.

Plantation Estates in Matthews has 361 apartments and just opened a new addition, expanding its campus with 126 additional apartments and 20 villas. Entrance fees vary from $125,000-$475,000, depending on the type and size of unit. Monthly fees range from $2,180-$4,020 for a single individual and do not increase as a resident transitions through various levels of care.

Windsor Run will open in spring of 2018 with 216 units. Entrance deposits are 90 percent refundable and begin at $189,000. Monthly service packages start at $2,025 and will increase if a resident needs to move to a higher level of care.