Senior residences and elegant interiors aren’t always found together, but they are in downtown Clayton, where Clayton On the Park is being transformed into a Sunrise senior living building. Conrad Properties, which owns the hotel, was collaborating with Sunrise to develop a new Clayton site, and the two decided on Clayton On the Park. We spoke with executive director Stacy Tew-Lovasz to hear about the exciting transformation.
The building is only seven years old, Tew-Lovasz says, so few improvements are needed. “It has a very sleek, modern exterior, which we’re incorporating into the new interior design. It’s an interesting process to create this trendy feel,” she says. “We’re making it modern but warm, using leather and fabrics that make it feel welcoming as well as cosmopolitan. We’re also refreshing the apartments themselves. Many have floor-to-ceiling windows, and there are 17 different floor plans, so the choices are exciting. As experts in the senior field, we’re also making changes to the bathrooms, which are the No. 1 areas where accidents or injuries occur. We’re hoping that these seniors can remain independent for as long as possible.”
With Clayton’s reputation as a premier community, Tew-Lovasz says the idea of providing innovative senior living there particularly excited Sunrise. “The seniors are embracing it; one of the interested seniors came all the way from St. Charles!” she says.
In one innovation, the first three floors are being transformed into a hub of activity to include an art studio, computer area, club room, billiards space, spa and concierge. A full-service fitness program, with nutritionists and trainers on-hand, will serve as a fitness center. And as a reward after all that hard work, the residence will offer a cocktail lounge, wine bar, bistro and two different dining venues, casual and formal.
“With our experience in premier senior living, we’ll be putting some state-of-the-art systems into the community as well,” Tew-Lovasz says. A 24-hour response system and a daily check-in system will ensure that residents remain safe, she says. “Another will be a digital display system, tied to the television, which will keep our seniors up to speed on what’s going on in the residence and all over the city. It will include what’s for lunch and dinner, and might even offer things like a morning yoga class. It also will allow us to connect with events going on in the city and with OASIS or Washington University’s lifelong learning programs.”
In addition, a director of residence services, the ‘health care concierge’ will help residents navigate the maze of senior health care, Medicare A, B and D and how to get medical equipment, all with the goal of postponing the need for higher-level assistance or care. Sunrise has partnered with Continuum Home Care to offer comprehensive bundled services on-site.
The Sunrise sales office opened in January and is now taking priority deposits. Two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio models are available for viewing, as is a gallery that paints a picture of how Sunrise is implementing the hotel’s transformation. “We are anticipating a Sept. 1 opening for residents to move in. It is still currently a hotel and will operate as such until the end of May,” Tew-Lovasz reports. “There are people currently under apartment leases whose contracts Conrad is honoring. So it is a wonderful mixed-use community now, but eventually it will be entirely senior living.”
But that doesn’t mean the new residence will be isolated from the greater community. It will host a rooftop series starting in May or June, with meetings on astronomy, architecture and more—all open to the public. Tew-Lovasz explains: “We’re aiming to be an integral part of Clayton. These programs will be available for seniors, their families and the whole Clayton community.”