As Hamilton’s Berkeley Square expands, leaders talk about what comes after that

As Berkeley Square embarks on its 15th expansion phase, leaders are thinking about the future.

On Monday, the senior living campus managed by Community First Solutions broke ground on the $11 million expansion project that received city approvals earlier this year. It will include 20 new independent living residences on the campus.

Plans submitted to the city show the project off N.W. Washington Boulevard will include 10 one-story duplex patio homes that will create the 20 residences, and the designs will be consistent with existing homes completed in Phase 14.

Community First Solutions President and CEO Brett Kirkpatrick said Phase 15 will take between 26 and 30 months to complete the project. While they are focused on the current phase of development, “and getting that built as quickly as possible,” they do have one eye on the future.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Kirkpatrick said there had been discussions on what to do with the remaining 15 acres of the complex’s undeveloped land, which is around 125 acres.

“I don’t know if I’d call it Phase 16, but we have additional room in the back, additional acres, we could continue to expand if the need is there in the future, we anticipate there will be,” he said.

By 2034, there will be an estimated 77 million seniors (people 65 and older) in the United States by 2034, according to the U.S. Census. The federal organization said the 2030s “are projected to be a transformative decade for the U.S. population” as it’s anticipated to grow at a slower pace and age considerably as the country becomes more racially and ethnically diverse.

With the expected growth in the senior population nationwide, the need for more senior living will eventually be in Hamilton.

“When you think about what we’re here to do is to meet the needs in our community,” Kirkpatrick.

Community First Solutions Board Chair John Kirsch said Community First and Berkeley Square is designed to provide whole care to the elderly, calling Phase 15 “one more chapter in that long history.”

“As board members, our role is to direct the future vision of the organization, and the baseline question the board asks itself, taking on new initiatives, is ‘What do we need to be doing as an organization to be impactful and relevant for the next 20 years?’” he said. “This is a small representation of that.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Berkeley Square was approved in 1989 to have 289 units that included 137 homes, 57 congregate apartment units, 46 assisted living apartments, and 49 full-service nursing care rooms. It opened in 1989 with 27 independent living homes.

Kirkpatrick said while a goal of the not-for-profit organization is to give back to the community, they also support the residents of the senior living community.

“This campus has a different vibe than any that I’ve been on in a long, long time,” he said. “The level of vibrant activity, engagement, and just the sense of community of the residents is amazing.”

In addition to Berkeley Square, Community First Solutions also operates a second senior living community, Westover.

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