Opening a senior living community is an exciting adventure (not for the faint of heart) and opening Flatirons Terrace in Boulder during the financial crisis of 2008 added a wrinkle we could not have anticipated. Yet as we celebrated our 10-year anniversary in April, it seems easy in retrospect.

We considered Flatirons Terrace carefully before we began and involved local experts on senior living. We had lots of questions before breaking ground: Was there a market need?  What were local seniors looking for in housing and lifestyles?  After doing our homework, the answers were yes, and we heard seniors want what everyone else wants in Boulder: Access to great recreational opportunities, an active lifestyle and activities that make this town unique, and a comfortable living space.

We were fortunate to tap experts when building Flatirons Terrace, including the award-winning Oz Architecture, and respected local builders, landscape architects and interior designers. Our apartments were designed to take advantage of the stunning views of the Flatirons and University of Colorado. In fact, one key design feature was positioning our large dining area on the west upper floor to take full advantage of the vista.  With 54 apartments and several spacious floor plans, we also sought to keep the community comfortable for residents.

We were some of the first in Boulder’s senior living scene to add amenities such as business/computer lounge, a library and reading lounge, large multi-purpose rooms available for various classes, programs, celebrations and events, a craft room, dining lounge for socialization before meals, underground parking, individual storage lockers, guest dining, and a guest room for visiting family and friends. And, a café/bistro service was included for residents to enjoy coffee, ice cream and light meals throughout the day.  Apartments have full kitchens, top-of-the-line, energy-efficient appliances and attached patios or balconies to offer easy access to fresh air and breathtaking views of the Flatirons.

Ten years later, we look around and see plenty of change. We have new neighbors to our left and right, the University of Colorado has grown, and Boulder itself has become a mecca for technology companies, artists, athletes and yes, seniors, looking to tap into the lifestyle many have enjoyed for years. Yet despite the changes, Boulder retains its intimacy and is welcoming to seniors.

Over the years, we cultivated intergenerational programs. Students from Fairview High School host a weekly technology program for residents, and third-graders from Whittier Elementary hold their journaling group at our community. These connections are priceless, offering learning opportunities for old and young alike.

We’ve also formed a lasting partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder, located just across the road. Each month, CU professors host educational lectures at our community, where the public is invited to listen to intelligent minds and fresh ideas that make our city a hub for innovation. And our residents frequently visit CU Boulder to attend faculty concerts and educational talks – most for free. CU’s international students visit with our residents to better learn the language and culture of our city, and technology majors from CU help residents learn how to use computer programs and other popular technologies. It’s a win-win relationship that we will nurture into the next decade.

For 10 years, Flatirons Terrace has been embraced by locals as a wonderful independent living community in mid-town Boulder. As we close out our first decade, we look forward to continuing our traditions and in supporting our residents to access the vibrant lifestyle and comfortable housing they seek.

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