Pictured above: Photos of a furnished model show the light- filled, spacious living areas in The Palazzo’s renovated apartments.
The property at 6250 N. 19th Ave. in Phoenix has been through many management and ownership changes in its history. The property was purchased by Westport Capital Partners and became The Palazzo, a full continuing care community on May 1, 2016. “If you think back to 35 years ago, Central Phoenix was the hub, and this was the Taj Mahal for senior living,” says Mark Aronauer, marketing director for The Palazzo.
But when Westport purchased the property, it was in need of some TLC. Westport repaired the leaky roof, repainted and re-stuccoed walls and did many general repairs for the safety and comfort of the residents.
Now they are in the middle of a $5 million renovation project. The renovation began with the independent living apartments, renovating them as they become vacant. The apartments range in size from 500 to 930 square feet.
“The apartments are beautiful; they all have either balconies, on the second or third floor, or walk-out patios on the first floor,” says Mark. “The renovation added new flooring, new paint, new cabinets and new countertops.” One of the most significant changes was opening up a wall to let more natural light into the one-bedroom apartments.
“When we tour family members (who aren’t the ones looking to move in), when they walk into our models, usually their first comments are ‘Wow! I could live here.’ That is a success story in and of itself,” says Mark.
The Palazzo offers independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. The next phase of the renovation will significantly increase their assisted-living space.
“We are taking 99 of the independent-living apartments, basically 33 apartments on each floor,” says Mark. “We are getting licensing and renovating that whole section to become a brand new assisted-living area.”
This new area will be able to house up to 120 individuals. Each of the three floors will have its own activity space, dining room and living room. “Each floor can be a neighborhood in and of itself,” says Mark. Residents will also have the freedom to roam between floors.
Also, couples will be able to live together, even if they both don’t need assisted living. For the budget conscious, that’s helpful because they will not be paying for two separate apartments. “They can both get whatever level of care they need,” says Mark. “If they both are needing assisted living, then they both will get the personal care and assistance they need. If one is not quite there yet, they can still live with their loved one.”
That option is also open to a child/parent living situation or even two friends. Since the apartments offer two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it allows those who might not be able to afford assisted living on their own the option of splitting the rent with a friend or loved one. They can live with whomever they want as long as both are an appropriate fit for the community.
“Main Street” is the next major renovation project, scheduled to start this summer with a completion date of year-end or early 2019. Resembling a big, open promenade, Main Street has a post office, gift shop, library with internet café, billiards room, movie theater, arts and crafts room, activity room and access to a heated swimming pool. The renovation will include moving walls, changing the flooring and adding a bar.
“It’s really going to transform this community into the modern-day hub of senior living,” says Mark. “It’s a real socialization aspect. When you don’t have a set plan, you can come out of your apartment at any time and come down to Main Street and know that you are going to see some friends.”
There are also plenty of activities to participate in from exercise to live music. The Jewish Family & Children’s Service Center for Senior Enrichment is located on the property, and they create programs for The Palazzo residents, as well as for seniors in the community looking for socialization and cultural experiences.
Just like the physical renovations, they will be changing activities with a focus on their upcoming clientele. “There will always be bingo, Rummikub and trivia. But the baby boomers want walking groups, and cultural talks on different locations throughout the world, and the opportunity to get out and about more. They want to be more active,” says Mark.
Mark notes that a lot of seniors choose to live in Scottsdale communities because they are newer and more modern. “Now you’ll be able to live in what looks like a Scottsdale community, but it will be more affordable,” says Mark. “The phrase that I tend to use is: it’s going to be Scottsdale beauty at Central Phoenix pricing.”
For more information on The Palazzo, call 602-433-6300 or visit palazzohc.com.