The Cottages at Arbor Pointe are 120 units of housing for the elderly. It is the third and final phase of the Baker Village Revitalization Strategy. The design was very innovative, creating an illusion of single-family homes and encouraged outside “porch sitting” and social interaction within the community. The amenities within the development are targeted to older residents and also contribute to the feel of “community.”
The design of “The Cottages” is unique. During early discussions with the City of Columbus for infrastructure funding, it was suggested that HACG include single-family homeownership units in conjunction with the revitalization of Baker Village. One of the key elements of the award winning design was developing partnerships with various firms and agencies that shared HACG’s vision. HACG’s developer partner, Columbia Residential, understood the wishes of City leaders as well as the needs of the senior community.
The buildings and units appear to be unique and not of the “cookie cutter” approach used in many multi-family developments. The amenities are unique to a senior population. In reality, all of the apartments are basically the same, which makes the design and construction easier and less costly, but variations in the porch and entrance configurations makes each unit seem unique inside and out. The rooms and hallway are spacious, making maneuverability easy and, with nine foot high ceilings, offer a luxurious feeling of space. Because the development is for use by older persons, all units are designed to the standards for visit ability at a minimum, with extra features added for greater usability. All units have accessible entrances and accessible routes throughout. All spaces except the bedroom have wood or ceramic tile floors, making wheel chair use easier. All units have accessible bathroom fixtures, including roll-in showers, with a compressible dam to keep shower water in its place.
To support and encourage an active lifestyle, the concept included outdoor activities especially suited to an older population aging in place. At the perimeter of the property, a walking trail meanders around the site. The entire experience offers beautiful views of the landscape. Along the way are frequent seating areas and several self-instructed exercise stations designed for stretching and strength training. The design includes a golf putting green, a shuffleboard court, and outdoor community cooking areas equipped with grills. There are no internal public streets but there are pedestrian connections to the adjacent family housing. Much of the amenity package, both site and unit, was in response to resident meetings with the Chapman residents. The larger rooms, washer/dryer connections, dishwashers, microwave ovens and energy efficient appliances were on the Chapman resident wish list. The site amenities of the theater room, computer lab, putting green, and walking trail exceeded the expectation of the Chapman residents. In addition to all of the amenities, the lush landscaping has to be the most pleasant surprise to the former Chapman residents. They enjoy sitting on their porches and looking at the beautiful flowers and trees that surround them.