The Industry Leading Construction Journal

Armbrook Village: Massachusetts’ Innovative State-of-the-art Senior Living

Armbrook Village senior living facility in Westfield, Mass., is no ordinary senior living community, which is why the project owner enlisted the help of Sage Engineering & Contracting Inc. (SAGE) for its development. Frank A. DeMarinis, P.E., established locally owned and operated SAGE in 2002 to provide the gamut of construction management, design-build and site engineering services. Above all, SAGE’s complete commitment to working in each client’s best interests is what sets the SAGE team apart from the competition.

Likewise, Armbrook Village stands in a very different category from the other senior living options in the Westfield area, with a variety of living arrangements and care options. “This development offers three different types of residential units: independent living, assisted living and memory care,” expands Jay Roscoe, project manager at SAGE. “The units range in size from approximately 250 square feet to over 1,100 square feet and options, ranging from studio units, double-bedroom units to single-bedroom units, and also double-bedroom suites.”

Armbrook Village also provides a variety of communal spaces to host a wealth of activities and events that make the development feel more like a community than a facility. Multiple dining rooms within the 110,000-square foot development provide residents with a restaurant-style dining experience. Residents also have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center and plenty of outdoor gardens. As with any development, it’s the smaller things that make the difference, and Armbrook Village delivers all the creature comforts with an on-site salon and spa offering cuts, color, styling and massage services. The development also includes a fully loaded theater with surround sound for movie screenings and game-night events.

Creating a Sense of Community

The emphasis on community gatherings represents the vision of Michael F. McCarthy, Armbrook Village’s developer, whose own professional experience pertains more to the energy and auto industry. McCarthy owns and operates B&D Petroleum of Springfield, a company that holds six total Citgo gas stations and four AutoSpa car washes in the area. McCarthy witnessed an improvement in his own mother when she moved from living alone in a condominium to a senior living community that offered a variety of activities and events, to the delight of both him and his mother. McCarthy’s mother has since passed, but the experience stuck with him, urging B&D Petroleum to purchase some land. Instead of building a gas station, McCarthy chose to build a state-of-the-art senior care facility.

A feasibility study underscored the market’s need for just such a development and revealed that the market could accommodate up to 200 units. The market reaffirmed McCarthy’s vision, with state finance and development authority MassDevelopment pledging $3.9 million toward the $14 million project. New England financial institutions – including Hampden Bank, Clinton Savings Bank and Savings Institute Bank & Trust Co. of Connecticut – loaned McCarthy the balance.

McCarthy developed the community to offer just 122 units, with rents ranging from roughly $2,250 monthly for a single-unit independent living studio up to $7,500 for a double-occupancy unit for residents with memory care needs. Even so, the monthly rent remains free of any buy-in entry fee, making it a little easier on the wallet. To top it all off, the sum includes just about everything except telephone service to make the entire living experience hassle free.

Comprehensive Care

Family members can rest easy knowing that Armbrook Village provides not just a vibrant community for seniors, but also one informed by the foremost experts on senior living and memory care. McCarthy enlisted the help of senior care experts at Senior Living Residences (SLR), whose portfolio includes 10 total facilities in the greater Boston area.

SLR has over 20 years of experience creating innovative assisted-living programs, with a particular expertise in memory care. SLR’s Compass Memory Support programming, developed in affiliation with the Boston University School of Medicine’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, resulted in state-of-the-art treatment based on the latest research for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In addition, SLR’s EnrichedLIFE programming for independent and assisted-living residents features a wide variety of educational programs and events that allow residents to remain active in their current hobbies, while also providing opportunities to pursue new interests. The facility will also offer a balance of traditional supportive services and pastoral care, as well as a tasty Mediterranean menu designed specifically to support brain health.

As of late 2012 the project remained on track for occupancy in spring 2013. “At this time, there are some residential units that have already been equipped with furniture and appliances; conversely, there are other portions of the building that are still in the rough framing phase of construction,” adds Roscoe.

Armbrook Village will be built to last, though, with vinyl exterior siding, cultured stone, and an architectural asphalt shingle roof to protect against Massachusetts winters. When Armbrook Village does open for occupancy, Sage Engineering & Contracting Inc., Senior Living Residences, Michael F. McCarthy and families across Massachusetts will take comfort in knowing that there are more options than ever for flexible, affordable and informed senior care.