As baby boomers age – the last of the generation will turn 65 in 2030 – the demand for senior housing is on the rise. And many seniors are flocking to luxury communities featuring the amenities of an elegant high-end resort while offering first-class health care services.
Nestled on over 100 acres of lush landscape, Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community is a registered arboretum featuring miles of walking trails designed by residents, a bee sanctuary, a community garden, two dog parks, a croquet court and a putting green.
“This isn’t the retirement community of the past,” Kimberly Borts, Bishop Gadsden’s vice president of mission and communications, said. “Our residents are active. They want physical fitness, and they want personal wellness training. We are focused on making sure everyone feels inspired and on creating opportunities for unique and memorable experiences.”
Located on James Island within the city of Charleston, the thriving life plan community has 475 residences, including a 268-unit apartment and cottage community, and offers independent and assisted living, memory care, skilled care and short-term rehabilitation services.
Individuals pay an entrance fee to join the community plus a fee each month based on the type of residence and its size. Cottages can span more than 2,800 square feet and include a gourmet kitchen, garage and large windows to showcase the scenery. Each customizable apartment offers a private balcony or patio.
Residents can enjoy a dip in the saline indoor swimming pool, get a massage in the spa, burn calories in the fitness center or express their creative side in Bishop Gadsden’s art loft, with guidance from an art teacher.
Run by professionally-trained chefs, Bishop Gadsden’s culinary program cuts its own steaks, makes sauces from scratch and sources from local farms, when possible. There’s a fine dining venue – jacket and reservation required – offering dinner and a weekly Sunday brunch complete with ice sculptures. The Market Place Cafe serves up a casual array of selections including made-to-order pasta, sandwiches, brick oven pizza, fresh fish and a bakery with house-made pastries and gelato.
“We invest a great deal of resources into our culinary program. Charleston is full of James Beard award-winning restaurants, and we want to compete with that. We want our residents to enjoy as luxurious a meal within our community as they would downtown,” Borts said.
Bishop Gadsden will have even more to offer before too long. Located at the terminus of iconic King Street and Columbus Street, is the future site of The Peninsula of Charleston, a luxury life plan community slated to offer over 40,000 square feet of luxury amenities plus independent living and a full continuum of health care – all just steps away from downtown Charleston’s fine dining, shopping, art and culture.
Scheduled to break ground in 2024 and open in early 2027, The Peninsula was designed by internationally known Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The property will feature 148 residences with 74 different floor plans – many one-of-a-kind – each featuring a large balcony, chef’s kitchen, high-end finishes and 10-foot ceilings. A full continuum of health care will be available to resident members.
The Peninsula of Charleston is the first ownership model senior living community in Charleston, where residents own their home and can sell it or designate it as an inheritance. They also pay a monthly fee covering meals, cocktails, utilities, housekeeping and maintenance.
With amenities including 24/7 concierge services, valet parking, a heated saltwater pool and jacuzzi, a golf simulator and a salon and spa, Director of Sales and Marketing Paige Canaday Crone compares the amenities and services to those found in a high-end hotel.
“Our residents will feel pampered and taken care of,” Crone said. “Our ‘priority partners’ who’ve put down a refundable $10,000 deposit to join our priority list, are a vibrant crowd of talented individuals. They enjoy their churches, friends, shops and restaurants and staying socially and culturally active. They don’t want to leave that walkable, wonderful downtown lifestyle.”
Residents will be able to view the sunset each evening from a sprawling terrace garden on the fourth floor before heading down to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in the bar and club lounge and visiting one of The Peninsula’s first-floor formal and informal dining options.
But beyond the elegance of plush senior luxury living, both Borts and Crone agreed that friendships and connections are what make a place feel like home – and the opportunity to live an extraordinary life.
“People are living longer, healthier lives,” Crone said. “Moving to a life plan community doesn’t have to be scary. It can be exciting. With homes ranging from 775 square feet to over 3,000 feet, The Peninsula will have something for everyone. We want our residents to feel like their neighbors are family.”
“Not only is Bishop Gadsden beautiful on the outside, it’s really quite beautiful on the inside,” Borts added. “Each person’s extraordinary life can look very different. But whatever that extraordinary life might be, we want to give you the opportunity to fulfill it.”
Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community
The Peninsula of Charleston
By Amy Connor