Action Pact and partners Liberty Hospital and Healthy Living Centers of America broke ground on a revolutionary multi-generational wellness and residential living neighborhood in Liberty, Missouri, on May 17, and announced its name: Norterre.
After two decades of applying ground-breaking concepts to create households for frail elders, Action Pact and its partners have broken ground for an entire multigenerational community based on the same household principles of normality, relationships, privacy, choice, and self-determination.
The $66 million first phase of the Norterre Healthy Living Community in Liberty, MO, will bring together adults and children of all ages with a healthy-living fitness center, a café, assisted living and skilled nursing households, and short-stay rehabilitation suites. The 50,000-square-foot healthy living center will offer a yoga and Pilates studio, cardio and strength area, spin room, track, lap pools and a children’s area.
“An athlete will work out next to a senior recovering from a stroke while a mother drops her daughter off in the children’s area so she can meet a friend to participate in a yoga class,” says Steve Shields, Action Pact CEO and Norterre Chairman/Managing Partner. “Seniors in memory support and assisted-living households will spend time in the greenspaces, healthy living center and café alongside young adults and families. A strong sense of connection will fill the campus.”
The project eventually will include apartments and homes for residents of every age along with full amenities found in most neighborhoods. Cafes, beauty shops, and a library – usually available in retirement communities but reserved just for elders – will welcome everyone, says Shields.
“Over the last two decades, we’ve guided hundreds of organizations across the country in their transformation from institutional care settings into vibrant households. Now we’re expanding this revolution to intergenerational neighborhoods and services within a fully integrated healthy living community,” says LaVrene Norton, Action Pact founder. “Norterre brings us a step closer to redefining not only the culture of aging, but the culture of living.”
The master-planned community will be the first of its kind in the country, consisting of a significant residential component for all stages of life, including young families, active adults and seniors. The first phase of the project will include the healthy living center, a café, households for seniors and short-term stay rehabilitation suites.
Norterre will be built on a 17-acre piece of land adjacent to Liberty Hospital, with large greenspaces for cross-generational and cultural activities. A 50,000-square-foot healthy living center will be the neighborhood’s “town square”, where young adults, parents and grandparents from all over the Northland can come together to work out, take yoga classes, socialize, build strength, receive physical therapy, learn about wellness, and reach personal milestones in a supportive environment unlike any other. Individuals from near and far can become members to improve physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and doctors can also write prescriptions for patients to take part in physical therapy or specialized programs. Many refer to this concept as a game-changer, as it will unite people of all ages in a way that has never been done before.“We are proud that this first-of-its-kind community will be built right here in Liberty. The concept complements our goals as a city – to help our residents of all ages improve their health, experience a sense of community and enrich their quality of life,” said Lyndell Brenton, mayor of Liberty. “Our city is an outstanding home for people in all seasons of life and health, and this unique wellness concept will connect the generations in a new and exciting way.”
The first phase of Norterre, which consists of the healthy living center, assisted living residences, memory support residences, skilled nursing residences and short-term rehabilitation suites, is expected to open in the late spring/early summer of 2017. The buildings will surround and face a large greenspace where individuals can enjoy local and regional artwork, wellness activities and multi-generational experiences. Construction of the second phase is planned to immediately follow with independent living and non-age-specific housing options.
The healthy living center is an integral component of the development. Any adult can join as a member and use the yoga and Pilates studio, cardiac and strength area, spin room, track, high impact studio, stretching area, demonstration kitchen that emphasizes healthy food preparation and nutrition, as well as warm water therapy and lap pools, spa, and children’s area where parents can drop their children off while they work out or have physical therapy. Companies in the Northland will sign up for memberships for their employees and use the center to create internal health initiatives. Doctors will also write prescriptions for patients to participate in programs such as cardiac rehab, diabetes prevention and physical therapy, and navigation teams will assist patients on-site.
“The project will help us further integrate valuable healthcare services into the community, while focusing on prevention and assisting Northland residents currently managing chronic conditions,” said David Feess, president and CEO of Liberty Hospital. “The concept will allow us to provide an ideal healthcare delivery model. Our clinicians will coordinate with the staff at the healthy living center to create care plans that reduce hospital readmissions and improve health overall in the Northland.”
The first phase of housing focuses on the Household Model which was developed and introduced to the senior living sector by Action Pact, led by Steve Shields and LaVrene Norton. In this model, a smaller number of people live in private residences within a single “household.” Each household can accommodate up to 20 residents and includes an open kitchen, dining room, living room and intimate spaces to relax and visit, as you find in your home. Residents will choose when to eat and sleep, how to spend their day, and explore life with purpose and spontaneity. The master-planned community will have a total of 60 assisted living residences, with 20 dedicated to memory support, 20 skilled nursing/long-term care residences and 40 short-term recovery suites for individuals of all ages going through rehabilitation.
“This concept is truly unique, and it will give different generations the opportunity to improve their health together and inspire one another. Through this development, we will redefine wellness and spark a new way of thinking for all generations,” said Shields. “This is an opportunity to create a model that is unlike anything else in the country – a place where we can break down the barriers that exist in society, share life experiences and motivate each other.”
This groundbreaking new model has caught the attention of the media and organizations who focus on healthy living and aging well. A sampling of recent stories is shown below.
Liberty Tribune, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016: http://www.libertytribune.com/news/norterre-s-leader-talks-about-creating-health-living-community/article_4e308e43-cdfa-5463-bb5f-e648d86263e1.html
Environments for Aging: “FIRST LOOK: Norterre,” August 11, 2016 http://www.efamagazine.com/article/first-look-norterre
Kansas City Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2016/05/17/multigenerational-living-project-liberty.html
Fox news 4, Kansas City: http://fox4kc.com/2016/05/17/healthy-living-community-to-be-built-in-liberty/