Lutheran Life Villages hopes to bring 55-and-older, cottage-style community concept to Fort Wayne

Lutheran Life Villages hopes to build a cottage community for adults ages 55 and older in southwest Fort Wayne. (Courtesy of FreeImages.com)

Lutheran Life Villages plans to offer a new take on an old concept – neighborhood living – with its proposed Piper Trail cottages project on Glencarin Boulevard, south of Illinois Road in southwest Fort Wayne.

“We’re just really excited to bring this new concept for active adults to Fort Wayne,” said Alex Kiefer, president and CEO of Lutheran Life Villages, which provides various types of housing and care for older adults.

The cottage community concept emphasizes social interaction among residents, so homes are close together, Kiefer said. Each cottage would have a front porch, green space in front of the home for people to enjoy, and a detached garage in back off an alley so people don’t just pull up their drive and into the garage without ever interacting with neighbors.

“We certainly believe the social side of life is a big determinant of our overall well-being,” Kiefer said.

The Piper Trail community, which would be for ages 55 and older, would include 40 to 50 single-family, maintenance-free, cottage homes that would be organized in small groups on about 8.5 acres, Kiefer said.

The proposed site for the development is vacant ground south of Lutheran Life Villages’ The Village at Birchwood adult day care services center at 8151 Glencarin Blvd., he said. The adult day services program would continue at The Village at Birchwood, but some of the building would be used for Piper Trail events and programming.

Cottages would range from 1,100 square feet to 1,700 square feet in size, a project announcement said.

Lutheran Life Villages would own the cottages, and people would pay a monthly rental fee to live in their cottage, Kiefer said. Those who want to pay a partially refundable “entry” fee up front would pay a lower monthly rental fee.

Lutheran Life Villages wants to have a number of the units reserved before starting construction on the project, Kiefer said. The nonprofit organization hopes to kick off its rental sales campaign in late April or early May.

The project also still must receive city planning and zoning approvals, he said.

If all goes well with city approvals and rental reservations, construction of the Piper Trail project could start in spring 2019 or sooner, Kiefer said. The cottages should be ready for people to move in about a year later.

Lutheran Life Villages officials still are determining the final designs for the cottages as well as the rental costs, Kiefer said.


For more information about Lutheran Live Villages’ proposed Piper Trail cottage community, email info@lutheranlifevillages.org or contact any Lutheran Life Villages location.


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