Dedication of Chesterbrook Residences

DEDICATION OF CHESTERBROOK RESIDENCES, NORTHERN VIRGINIA’S  FIRST MIXED-INCOME ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY, SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 10, 2008

(McLean, VA.) After nearly seven years in the making, the dedication of Chesterbrook Residences, Fairfax County’s first mixed-income assisted living facility will take place on February 10th. James Scott, Delegate to the Virginia Legislature and Gerald Connolly, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, will participate in the dedication ceremony. The facility opened its doors to the first residents on November 1, 2007.  Reverend Gary Pinder, the minister of Lewinsville Presbyterian Church for 37 years until his retirement in 2005, will be honored at the dedication event for his pioneering efforts in the creation of Chesterbrook Residences.

The facility is located at 2030 Westmoreland Street in Fairfax County between Falls Church and McLean. The building has 97 suites (85 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units) and will be home for up to 109 residents, 62 years of age and older who need assistance with at least one “activity of daily living,” such as bathing/dressing, feeding, personal care, medication coordination and monitoring of safety. On the continuum of care for the elderly, assisted living falls in the middle between independent congregate care and the comprehensive care of a nursing home.

Chesterbrook offers a beautiful home with a caring staff.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served each day.  A wide range of recreational, arts and crafts and entertainment activities are offered.  There is an enclosed courtyard that permits a resident to enjoy the outdoors in a safe manner.   A volunteer services program, “staffed” by members of the sponsoring congregations, augments the services provided by the professional staff.  Chesterbrook provides religious services in-house or transportation to local religious institutions for worship

Of the 97 units, 49 are reserved for very low-income seniors whose income (below $33,000) qualifies them for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8), with five units set aside for even lower-income seniors (incomes below $20,000). Of the remaining units, 6 will be below market rate and 42 will be market rate. However, even the market rate units are offered at prices below that charged by the typical for-profit assisted living facility. Unlike most assisted living facilities, every unit at Chesterbrook Residences has a separate bedroom.

The developer and owner of the facility is Chesterbrook Residences, Inc. (CRI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonsectarian organization established in 2001. Current members include Lewinsville and Immanuel Presbyterian Churches, Temple Rodef Shalom and the National Capital Presbytery (NCP).

The Virginia Housing and Development Authority (VHDA) and Fairfax County are providing major funding for the $14.1 million project: $11 million in bond financing from VHDA and $1.854 million in grants/loans from Fairfax County. The Commonwealth of Virginia recently contributed $190,000 to the project.  United Bank provided a $1.3 million loan for pre-development costs. CRI has repaid all loans.

In 2005, CRI launched its Final Mile Campaign to raise the remaining funds needed to construct the project and see it through to lease-up. To date, donations and pledges totaling approximately $1.1 million have been raised from members of the sponsoring congregations, companies such as WEST*GROUP and Freddie Mac and service organizations such as the Rotary Clubs of Tysons Corner and McLean.

Land costs are essentially free and the major reason why the project is feasible in such a high land-cost area. In 2004, the National Capital Presbytery, the owner of the land, and CRI entered into a 75-year lease for $1/year. The value of NCP’s “gift” is approximately $3.5 million.

Grimm+Parker of McLean was the architect; Harkins Builders of Marriottsville, Maryland constructed the facility. Coordinated Services Management of Roanoke provides management.

The genesis of Chesterbrook Residences rests with the members of the Chesterbrook Presbyterian Church, which occupied the front four acres of the Westmoreland site. As the church members aged, membership declined. In late 2000, CPC reluctantly concluded that the church they dearly loved could no longer be sustained economically. When CPC asked the National Capital Presbytery to dissolve the congregation, it asked that the church building continue to be used as a church home and that the back five acres, which are vacant, become the home of an assisted living facility that would be available to low-income seniors.  NCP agreed to both requests. A congregation that had been worshipping in Oakton High School moved into the building in early 2001 and renamed it the Chesterbrook Taiwanese Presbyterian Church.

In late 2000, NCP also asked Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (LPC) to examine the feasibility of building the assisted living facility. Given LPC’s experience in constructing, owning and operating Lewinsville Retirement Residence, an independent living facility for 170 low-income seniors in McLean, it was natural for LPC to assume the lead role.  Reverend Pinder, then the minister of LPC, immediately formed a task force of volunteers under the leadership of Reverend Gerald Hopkins. The task force began the arduous process of examining land use, engineering, environmental and financial questions associated with the dream of serving low-income seniors. Thousands of volunteer hours were and continue to be clocked on the project.

Although feasibility was established in mid-2002, it took until April 2004 for the Board of Supervisors to approve the land-use application and until March 2006 for approval of the site plan and receipt of various permits.  CRI broke ground in May 2006.

There is an immediate need of 1,000 plus assisted living beds for low-income seniors in Fairfax County. A study commissioned for the County projects that the number will grow to 1,600 beds if the number of elderly remains constant, but Fairfax County is aging. By 2010, the number of residents 60 years of age and older will increase 43%; the number of people 85 and over by 38%.  Yet currently there are only three facilities with a total of 175 beds serving low-income seniors. Because of the shortage, Fairfax County has to send low-income residents to facilities in other parts of Virginia.

“No one thought back in early 2001 that it would take this long to open Chesterbrook Residences,” stated Gerald Hopkins, President of the CRI Board of Directors. “There were many potholes and roadblocks along the way, but the dream has become a reality. We are grateful to VHDA, Fairfax County, the National Capital Presbytery and all of our other supporters for helping us reach this milestone. While CRI has no residency requirements, we hope and expect that our facility will enable many seniors from Northern Virginia to live out their retirement years surrounded by family and friends familiar to them.”

Chesterbrook welcomes potential residents, neighbors, the press and other interested persons to visit.  We are open for visits from 9-5 Monday through Friday and 10-3 on Sunday.  For information or an application, please contact Debbie Dement, Director of Marketing and Admissions, at 703-531-0781, ext.103, or ddement@cri-va.org or go to www.chesterbrookres.org.

Contact
Debbie Dement,
Director of Marketing and Admissions,
703-531-0781, ext.103, or
ddement@cri-va.org