When is it time to consider moving to a retirement community? Vivante on the Coast has been making the conversation a lot easier since they broke ground on the luxury community this spring.

“Kids will broach the subject with their parents — only to find out their parents already heard about it from friends. Then they came by and put down a deposit,” said Phill Barklow of Corona del Mar, vice president of operations of Vivante On the Coast. “That’s happened multiple times. We also hear them say, “If Mom doesn’t want to live here, I do…”

The retirement community — which will be gated on 4.5 acres — should open in fall of 2013 on Monrovia Avenue in Costa Mesa. “Already,” Barklow said, “half the apartments have been reserved.”

The campus will be 200,000 square feet with more than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor fitness and wellness space, including a spa, indoor saltwater pool and putting green. The facility will have 31,000 square feet of amenity space, including a rooftop deck with a view, a hair salon, raised herb gardens, a dog park, game room, library and computer room and a Fun Zone Kids’ Room complete with a candy bar for visiting grandchildren.
“Vivante will have a computer room and each resident will receive an iPad,” Barklow said. “Vivante is developing an app that will let residents order meals, keep up with daily events or even put in a work order.”

“Family members can get the app as well,” he said. “So if they’re in Hawaii, and their mom’s light goes out, they can put in a work order from wherever they are and get things taken care of.”

Local architects designed the space with an eye toward keeping things in line with residents’ Orange County coastal lifestyles. Residents who make deposits now have choices of four color schemes for their apartments, each inspired by local communities like Bayshores and Corona del Mar. Visitors who stop by the Vivante leasing office at 320 West Coast Highway can see a model apartment and check out the color palettes and materials, as well as a model of the entire complex.

“The community will have four restaurants, including one inspired by Gulf Stream and another inspired by the Quiet Woman. A golf course grille was inspired by Big Canyon,” Barklow said.

“The key is we’re all local, and we’re creating a community that’s locally inspired,” he said. “We used local themes so residents feel it’s not so drastically different from their homes.”

“Already,” he said, “residents who have paid their $1,000 deposits have been socializing in organized events, like a race day at the track.” A summer luau is planned from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday Aug. 25, and anyone who wishes to attend is welcome; call (949) 629-2100. Vivante also is working with the OASIS Senior Center to organize events and spread the word of their services.

The $1,000 fee is fully refundable. By securing a spot now, however, future residents can have better choices in location and apartment finishes, as well as lock in rental rates. As residents’ medical needs change, apartments can be converted to accommodate wheelchairs. Nurses and trained staff are on hand 24/7, and there will be a wing for residents with memory loss who need extra attention. The penthouses and two-bedroom apartments already have been reserved.

“People are telling their friends, coming in, putting down deposits,” Barklow said. “Couples are tired of worrying about house maintenance, taking care of the car and preparing food. They don’t have time to have fun. The seniors here want a better quality option for themselves. And they come in and take one look and say, ‘This does not feel like an old folks home.’ We want to be a place where they can go and enjoy the rest of their lives. They deserve it. Let’s face it: They’re our heroes.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the Vivante website or call (949) 629-2100.

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