By LANDON WOODROOF
Residents, future residents, executives and civic leaders gathered at The Heritage at Brentwood Wednesday morning for the first step in the final phase of the senior living community’s development.
The occasion was a groundbreaking ceremony for the community’s new Redbud expansion, which will significantly increase the size of The Heritage at Brentwood and offer residents a range of new amenities. The ceremony took place in the back of The Heritage right in front the land slated for construction.
In all, five new structures will be added to the community’s current footprint. Some of the highlights of the addition will be 97 new apartments, an auditorium that can seat over 300 people, an expanded dining area and a new Healthy Life center. The center will include a spa and an indoor pool. The Heritage at Brentwood Executive Director, John Tagatz said the Redbud expansion should be complete by late spring of 2019.
Currently, The Heritage is home to about 280 people in its independent living areas, Tagatz said. The expansion should bring that number to around 450. Over 70 percent of the units have already been spoken for in the new Redbud expansion.
Brenta Davis hopes that the people who move into Redbud will enjoy The Heritage as much as she has the past few years.
“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, ever,” Davis said at the groundbreaking ceremony, referring to her relocation to the community in August 2007.
Since that time she has come to appreciate the friendliness and hospitality of both the staff at The Heritage and her fellow residents.
“The Heritage is the most welcoming place I’ve ever seen, and I looked at other places in the area,” she said. “And it’s so welcoming because the residents and the staff are so great and so caring.”
Davis made sure to point out, though, that this welcoming spirit did not threaten residents’ independence. People at The Heritage lead their own lives and make their own decisions.
“We really are a community with the freedom to interact or not as we please,” she said. “We care about each other, but we don’t intrude upon each other, and when we add Redbud to our community, I’m sure it will be the same thing.”
John Cooper is the majority owner at The Heritage. Along with his partner, John Stone, and the management firm that runs The Heritage, LCS, he is one of the central figures in the history of the development.
He thanked a number of different people for their support for The Heritage through the years.
“Everyone here made this possible,” he said. “Every resident has made it possible. There are bankers here who have helped make it possible. There are builders and developers who made it possible. There are some investors here who made it possible, but really it is the residents who have made this day possible. It’s been a while coming, but it’s wonderful that it’s here.”
He singled out several people for special recognition, including Mike Hendren and Eric Kruse of Pinnacle Financial Partners, John Stone and Tagatz.
Cooper also stressed the role that Brentwood United Methodist Church had played in inspiring the idea of a retirement community like The Heritage in Brentwood.
“This was always the plan,” he said. “It’s very rare in real estate when the plan actually happens. This was the plan, to have the best community, with the best management and the best residents on a centrally located parcel where the community connected to greenways, sports facilities and parks parks. And that’s what happened. And the fact that that happened is a testament of all of you here.”