A view inside the Village Co-op of Verona Hills
By Jill Draper
Since opening in May, the Village Cooperative of Verona Hills has become home to 85 residents, and now there’s a waiting list to join this group of independent seniors ages 62 or older.
“It’s definitely developing into a community,” says Ben Goler, who moved there with his wife from a nearby neighborhood. He says they were tired of steps, mowing grass, shoveling snow and home maintenance, and were attracted by the price and social aspect.
Located at 10800 Wornall Rd., the cooperative has 54 units plus a community room with a full-sized kitchen, bar and big screen TV. Residents can take part in weekly game nights, movie nights, happy hours and morning coffees. Outside are small garden plots for the asking.
“You can be involved as much as you want, or not at all,” says Goler, who is on the marketing committee. Other committees include activities, finance, property, newsletter and community involvement. Eventually a board of directors will be organized.
The co-op is one of seven in the wide metro area. Residents own a share in the nonprofit corporation, and the corporation holds the title to the entire property (living spaces, land and common areas) and assumes the mortgage, tax and other obligations necessary to finance, operate and maintain it.
As the south Kansas City facility was being built, the future residents were offered a choice of 17 floor plans ranging from $90,000 to $180,000. Monthly maintenance fees are about 1% of the unit price, says Nancy Vinsant, member services manager.
She says 70 percent of the residents are couples, and the remaining singles are 60 percent women and 40 percent men. The average age is 74. Each unit comes with a balcony and an underground parking spot.
Vicki McGuire and her husband moved to the co-op from Omaha to be closer to their Kansas City children. She liked the opportunity to customize her two-bedroom unit while it was under construction, although she says the standard countertops, cabinets, flooring and light fixtures were high quality.
“We looked at other places, but we weren’t ready for care-through-death with meals,” she says.
The co-op is set back from the road, and residents plan to install an address sign at the Wornall turnoff. There’s also talk of landscaping the acreage between the road and the facility, starting a book group, a lunching out group and a holiday open house. A Halloween potluck and a catered Thanksgiving dinner are already being organized, and residents are working on establishing relationships with neighbors such as Brookdale Wornall Place, St. Joseph Medical Center and Notre Dame de Sion.
For more information see villagecooperative.com.
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