A Sensible Setting with Scenic Surroundings

Nestled in an established neighborhood in the foothills of Fullerton, Calif., Jacaranda feels just like home — only better.

By Kim Singletary
Photography by Pro Digital Real Estate Photography

Everyone knows that when it comes to real estate, three things are critical — location, location, location. When it comes to 55 and up active-adult communities, however, most require senior residents to forsake the familiar surroundings they’ve enjoyed in their neighborhoods in order to take advantage of all the amenities of a new development. Jacaranda, located in an established community nestled in the foothills of Fullerton, Calif., is the senior community exception. This premiere active-adult apartment community has made great efforts to understand the needs of the 50-plus market in order to make their transition to a new, exciting lifestyle as seamless as possible. The community is also a 2011 Gold Nugget Merit Award winner for “Age Qualified Housing — Multifamily Community.” This, among many other reasons, is why Jacaranda is recognized as our “Active Adult Community of the Year.”

According to Jennifer Schaefer, regional manager with the Morgan Group, property manager for Jacaranda, in addition to conducting a variety of surveys, the company hired senior consultants to assist with creating Jacaranda’s interiors and common areas, and even to provide ideas on how to run the community. Development for Jacaranda began back in 2004. Construction took just over one year and was completed in June of 2010. Currently, 98 of the 131 units have been leased.

Entering into the welcoming setting, residents who step into this gated community are greeted with lush landscaping surrounding exteriors created in what the architect has called a “mountain lodge feel” complete with pitch roofs, stone exterior elements and heavy timber columns.

Forging this lodge feel within the confines of an existing neighborhood was one of the large challenges of the project. “We had to look at how we could put a three-story building on a property where neighbors didn’t want it.” Schaefer said. “The answer was to create three buildings that were splitlevel. In essence three buildings face the common areas. One side is three floors and the entire property is two floors.” RC Alley, partner with the project’s architect, Architects Orange, also noted the demands of the facade. “We wanted the community to be visible to the street but we didn’t want to be too imposing, we wanted to make sure we had a street face presence without sacrificing the livability.”

Inside the community, residents have their choice of four floorplans — Cypress, Juniper, Mulberry and Sequoia — that range from one bedroom, one bath, to two bedrooms, two baths and a den. Measuring from 736 to 1,371 square feet, they feature open layouts with plenty of room for the furniture and personal treasures so dear to those moving from single-family homes.

Once residents see and experience for themselves all the amenities Jacaranda has to offer, the move is more than worth it with plenty of areas to enjoy. Interiors feature all of the high-end offerings a premiere community requires, such as kitchens boasting stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and custom cabinetry, as well as little touches like pendant lighting, nine-foot ceilings rimmed by crown molding and energy-efficient washers and dryers.

“We’re definitely in a grouping of our own … There is nothing available [in the area] that would be specified to age restriction of this caliber,” Schaefer says. “Amenities are detailed, and there’s that little bit of extra effort that goes into the programs. Also, the staff goes above and beyond.” Included in the staff is an on-site activities director, and among the social, recreational and educational activities are chauffeured van trips to popular locales.

“We’ve got a heated pool and jacuzzi, a specialized fitness center featuring senior specific equipment, a crafts room, a social room, catering kitchen, regular cooking demonstrations, a game room, poker tables, billiards, a business center, full library and a built-in barbecue,” said Schaefer.

From the coffee bar alongside the gourmet demonstration kitchen, to the social lounge with party veranda, Jacaranda features plenty of hot spots for residents to enjoy each other’s company or host friends and family. And for those loved ones that aren’t as close, the activity room provides computers to help residents stay in touch. “We wanted everything to be well lit,” Schaefer said. “The outdoor amenities we wanted smaller private areas while using the communal facilities. A lot of thought went into it.”

At every turn it seems you find some special touch or a special consideration made — all blending together to create a community that truly caters to this market segment, one that enjoys the finer things and finally having the time to really enjoy them. At Jacaranda residents are never at a loss for something to do, or the perfect setting to call home.

Kim Singletary is the editor-at-large of 50+ Builder. She may be contacted at ksingletary@penpubinc.com.

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