Residents and staff on the Wesley Homes Des Moines campus are seeing a lot of progress on the new Cottages.
With the new Cottages on track to be completed soon, excitement is building among current residents who have selected a new Cottages as their future homes.
As part of a four-phase plan to update the Wesley Homes Des Moines campus, the new Cottages will replace those built in the 1950s with updated heat and air conditioning systems, brand new appliances and spacious floor plans. They are designed to accommodate the modern-day, active lifestyles of both current and future residents.
When asked what she looks forward to the most, she responded, “It’s a brand new home!” She added that she enjoyed being able to pick custom finishes for countertops and flooring customizations that are only available to those that reserve a new cottage early in construction.
Judy is happy that she can stay on campus through the redevelopment because of the people she’s gotten to know and the community that’s embraced her. She’s developed many friendships with her neighbors, a major benefit of living on a Wesley campus.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know my new neighbors. There will be a minister and a very kind school teacher moving in near me,” said Linda Pfister, a four-year cottage resident who has reserved the two-bedroom Nooksack floor plan.
Linda has been very involved in maintaining the gardens on campus as well as planning for the new resident gardens as part of the redevelopment. Because of her involvement, she has come to know a lot of people on campus, both residents and staff.
“This is a very close community, and I’ve made a lot of friends here over the years,” said Linda. “I’m most looking forward to my new, very large walk-in closet and no more walking up and down stairs,” she adds.
Moving to a new home is not always a smooth transition, but Wesley Homes has been making a concerted effort to ensure residents are well informed and involved in the campus redevelopment.
Vice President of Marketing and Development Christine Tremain has been communicating regularly with residents so they know what’s going on with the construction and have the latest information so they can make informed decisions about their options.
“Christine is very organized and has done a fantastic job working with everyone on the transition to the new Cottages. She’s been very up front about the details of the new Cottages and keeps us well informed with weekly construction updates from Walsh Construction Superintendent Anthony Mizen,” said Judy.
“There is a risk in sharing information too quickly,” said Christine. “With new construction, things can change rapidly, and that can be difficult for some people. We try to share information when we get it or when changes happen. We feel it is better to be transparent.”
Embarking on a project of this magnitude, Wesley Homes felt it was important to have resident involvement to identify and address resident concerns, solicit feedback and recommendations and communicate information in a positive way. To do this, Wesley Homes formed the Redevelopment Advisory Team in August 2014. The team, made up of residents, staff and a family member, has worked on many details of the project from The Terrace renovation to the new Gardens building.
“It’s been an interesting process and very educational. We’ve learned a lot about the breadth of all the little details that go into planning such an ambitious project,” said Linda.
Judy and Linda are both on the Redevelopment Advisory Team and have helped in developing the plans for the new Cottages as part of a floor plan subcommittee. One of the tasks this committee was given was to name the floorplans. They chose to name them after First Nation tribes and some local rivers. They also helped to review floor layouts, accommodation features and customization options.
“It’s been a privilege to be able to help make decisions on details and features for the new Cottages,” added Judy. “It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to have an influence on the campus redevelopment.”
The first new Cottages in Phase 1A of development are scheduled to be completed in June 2017. There are only a few cottages still available with the opportunity to customize finishes and select upgrades.
“People like myself really need to think about moving into an active retirement community like this earlier rather than later,” said Judy.