May 29—Chris Beckstrand helped manage senior living facilities for more than a half dozen companies across the South before launching Avail Senior Living in 2019.
Next month, Beckstrand plans to open the first of what he hopes will be several senior housing developments of his own when he debuts a 72-unit assisted living center being built across from the sprawling First Baptist Church campus on Stuart Road in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The $14 million assisted living center, known as Avail Senior Living, is located only a couple of miles away from the headquarters of Life Care Centers of America, the nation's biggest privately owned chain of nursing homes, assisted living centers and other senior housing complexes. Beckstrand said while some developers may be wary to come into Life Care's hometown, he sees plenty of opportunity in the growing Cleveland area.
"We looked at several markets, but we saw Cleveland as a great location for future growth," Beckstrand said. "We're really blessed to have a lot of great operators in this area, but not everyone does it the same."
Initially, Beckstrand said he planned to offer only memory care, which he said is still underserved in Cleveland.
"Since we started, we decided to offer both assisted living and memory care to allow residents to have a wider range of services to age in place under one roof," he said.
The new center will have offer assisted living for 52 residents and memory care for another 20 on its 7-acre site. Within the next year, Beckstrand said he expects to enlarge the center's staff to about 30 employees.
Beckstrand said completing the new facility has been pushed back some by the rainy weather in the past year, but the opening appears well timed as the COVID-19 pandemic eases and restrictions of activities and visits are lifted.
"The confidence is definitely coming back and we're seeing a lot of interest by people looking at their options again," he said.
Avail's goal is to be the most active and engaging senior living community in the area, Beckstrand said. The new complex will feature a salon, massage therapy, library, fitness room and spacious common area and will feature such unique activities at different times of the year rsnging from tap dancing and broadway classes to strawberry picking at Lamon Farms.
"Our community is all about providing peace of mind to families and to make sure our residents are truly enjoying life," he said. "We encourage seniors who are interested in Avail to see how their lifestyle could change by making new friends, being served restaurant-style meals with home-cooked charm, and receiving the personal care they need, all in the comfort of their apartment home."
Families and seniors interested in more information can visit in-person, browse the website, or call (423) 505-5998. Construction progress can also be shown on the Avail Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AvailSeniorLiving.
Beckstrand said he is looking for sites across the Southeast for other future locations of similar facilities.
Other assisted living centers to open
Also next month, Morning Pointe Senior Living will reopen The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence, located at 7620 Shallowford Road. The Alzheimer's memory care community was shut down after the April 2020 tornado damaged the facility. No one was injured, but it has taken more than 14 months to rebuild the facility amid the pandemic.
In East Brainerd, adjacent to the new Red Stone Estates apartments for seniors, an assisted living and memory care complex is being built by Rockbridge Oaks. That facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6340.