Village Cooperative Holds Unique Groundbreaking Ceremony

Richard Biery, Garth Leigh, Cheri Leigh, Kay Biery and Dennie Oade emptied bags of dirt from their current yards into a large container during a ceremony. Photo by Jill Draper.

By Jill Draper

Some 60 future residents of the Village Cooperative of Verona Hills gathered at the Jack Stack Martin City Banquet Room for a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 12. According to Shane Wright, project manager with Real Estate Equities Development, they constituted one of the largest-ever crowds for such an event in the history of the company’s active adult cooperative housing market.

“We felt really lucky to get this property. It’s one of those rare sites where we have a forest perimeter,” said Wright, who noted that excavation has begun on the 54-unit project at Wornall Road and 108th Street. The project is being constructed by MW Builders.

Doris Sarver, sales manager, called the crowd “pioneers” and said that some had reserved their one and two-bedroom units more than a year ago. The facility is for adults 62 years and older and is expected to open in early 2019.

Future residents Garth and Cheri Leigh said their story is similar to many. “We’ve lived for more than 42 years in a double-lot home with 200 cannas, black walnut trees, iris, bee balm, lilies of the valley and on and on…So we leave a lot behind, but also hours of maintenance and yard work. We look forward to living in a community and making new friends,” Garth Leigh said.

Carolyn Stewart also described herself as “living in a way-too-big home” and plans to do a lot of downsizing. “I will only take what is precious to me and simplify my life,” she said.

Many in the crowd then emptied bags of dirt from their current yards into a large container during a ceremony that Sarver called “the blending of the soils.” When the project opens, this bucket of dirt will be used to help plant a tree to grow along with the community.

Sarver said nine units are still for sale. For more information, see

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