First opened in 1984, the Life Plan Community located on 73 acres was feeling its age and fully understood that its architecture was dated and did not reflect the quality or spirit of the community. A highly dynamic and collaborative master plan was undertaken to create a market-ready community known for its holistic approach to living well. At a higher level, Lifespace Communities, the parent organization had rebranded from its founding name and was undergoing a corporate repositioning that outlined specific goals for each of its communities, including alternative dining which became a central element of the new master plan.
Based on community tours and meetings, it was apparent that the highest priority was the Wellness Center and Alternative Dining, with an additional focus on improving the health center and increasing their presence in the community. Building additions would need to be considered and their placement on the restrictive site with its ravine and rolling hills would become a driving element of the master planning process. A dynamic charrette that engaged more than 30 participants representing residents and staff created an option that generated high interest because it provided opportunities to transform the entry image, create a central hub in the commons areas, a new auditorium with additional amenity spaces, expand the wellness center, and expand residential options.
The resulting master plan was broken down into four phases for minimal disruption to this active community. The first phase included substantial new dining options, updated and expanded kitchen, new porte cochere entrance and construction of a new St. Clair auditorium space and other community amenities such as fitness center, billiards and library.