A new independent living center opened its doors on Tuesday seeking to bring modern housing to some of St. Louis’ seniors and it already has a wait list.
Vandeventer Place, an independent living senior community, has 15,000 square feet of community space comprised of a furnished community building, business center, fitness center and movie theater.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony for Vadeveter Place, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said that one of the biggest and personal issues that she deals with is finding a suitable living for senior citizens.
“I am extremely honored to be here today, celebrating the ribbon cutting of such a great facility,” Nasheed said. “Of all the issues that I work on as the senator for the 5th District, there is no issue that is dearer to my heart, that gives me more satisfaction than providing senior living for our elders.”
Nasheed added that in 2014 she worked with then Mayor Francis Slay to help the Ville neighborhood demolish vacant buildings and rebuild new facilities with its residents.
“There was so many right here, children walking each and every day down the street and all they see is decay,” Nasheed said. “When they see abandoned and vacant buildings, their minds begin to decay. So we said we have to do something about it, we have to change the dynamics here in the Ville neighborhood. Now we’re here in a facility for our seniors can call their home. That’s great, that’s fabulous.”
The new living center offers 54 one and two bedroom apartments, which include a full-kitchen, window coverings, and hardwood-style flooring with a washer and dryer starting at $430 a month, with utilities being included.
According to Ryan Stevens, director of operations at Fairway Management, all 54 residential spaces are occupied, and there is now a 120 person wait list.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, was also at the ribbon cutting ceremony, said she was proud to take part in the event and praised the handwork of the community who helped the living center become a reality.
“This is what community looks like. This is what collaboration looks like,” Krewson said. “Development such as Vandeventer Place are symbols of the type of people that St. Louisans are. It says that we take care of our own and we care about the communities that we live in.”
Bernetta Joiner, a resident of Vadevetar Place since March, agreed with both Nasheed and Krewson and said being a resident at the living center has been a wonderful experience.
“I love it. It’s quiet and it’s close to where I grew up, so it’s part of the neighborhood and I’m on a main street so if anything happens to my car I can just jump on the bus and go where I want to go,” Joiner said. “Management is great, maintenance is great, and the residents are cool too – so I’m good.”
Joiner said she wished she had free time to enjoy the different activities within Vadevetar Place, but since she is still working six days a week, she usually just relaxes when she’s off work.
Additionally she recommends other residents of the area to apply to live at Vadevetar Place because the atmosphere is terrific.
“Anyone who is looking for a place to live near here should come and put an application in,” she said. “It’s just a great place to live. I love it.”
Nasheed closed the event by saying it was important that everyone take a step back to appreciate the hard work it went in achieving Vadevetar Place, and said it was only the beginning.
“We live in a very fast-paced world. Our lives are committed to making things happen and getting things done,” she said. “That is why it is important to take a step back and look at the big picture. To consider how we can improve and enhance and find solutions to problems that are facing our community and this country.”