by Dennis Dalman
The apartment complex in Sartell known as the Waterford of Country Manor is one of many trend-setting, up-scale senior-living options in the area that offers virtually every convenience close to home.
On the morning of Jan. 29, about two dozen members of the Senior Connection toured the Waterford, its restaurant-bar and one of the living units, thanks to Clara Wesley, who opened up her home to those on the tour. The visit to the Waterford was the Senior Connection’s chosen Thursday morning “Coffee and Conversation” activity for that particular morning. Every Thursday at 9 a.m., many Connection members meet at a Country Manor dining room to hear guest speakers and sometimes just to shoot the breeze over coffee and warm caramel rolls made at Country Manor.
Many members had expressed curiosity about the Waterford because they had heard what a nice place it is to live. The tour was arranged by Gail Rucks and Katy Sabinski, both Country Manor employees. Sabinski is coordinator for the Waterford.
The complex, which opened last year, is an 80,000-square-foot facility that is part of the Country Manor campus in east Sartell. It’s an example of how some developers have tailored their apartment projects expressly for the needs and wants of senior citizens who want to live independently but who always have easy-access proximity to medical services and other necessities and daily conveniences.
At the Waterford, there are 45 living units. There are two kinds of one-bedroom apartments – one of 811 square feet, another with 1,038 square feet. Most two-bedroom units are either 1,099 square feet or 1,370 square feet, with a few of them 1,400 square feet.
The monthly rents for the apartments are $2,375 for a one-bedroom unit and $3,750 for a two-bedroom unit. Most would consider those prices very steep; however, the monthly rent cost includes all utilities (heat, water, electricity), local phone service, Internet service, cable TV, garbage removal and tuck-under garages and a $100-per-month credit that can be used for meals at Drakes, the restaurant-bar that is part of the complex. Drakes recently opened for the general public as well as Waterford residents.
Another reason for the higher-than-usual rental costs are the many features and amenities of the units. There are huge windows that flood the rooms with outdoor light, 9-foot-high ceilings, in-floor heating, quality detailed woodwork, washer-and-dryer, air-conditioning, laminate flooring, patio doors and deck areas.
Housecleaning is available via Country Manor at $30 an hour.
Proximity is one reason residents have chosen to live at the Waterford. They have access to all Country Manor amenities and activities; there are wellness programs they can join; a medical-call service; social clubs; private-party rooms for reservation; catered events; a salon and spa; the option of rehabilitation seven days a week; professional transportation available; a Bible study group; a large non-denominational chapel; a campus choir; and a convenience store, bank, clinic and pharmacy that are all on the Country Manor campus.
Outdoor amenities include a 1.25-acre courtyard, a duck pond, a sundeck, and flower and vegetable gardens.
The senior citizens who took the Jan. 29 tour expressed approval of what they’d seen. Many remarked about the huge windows in the units, the spacious rooms, the quality woodwork and the open-space feel of the large kitchens.
All but one of the Waterford units are occupied. Other than a one-bedroom unit, there is a waiting list for all of the other apartments.