Food, fun and friends attract residents to The Villages of Farragut

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

Don Olson was one of the first to sign a lease for an independent living apartment at The Villages of Farragut, so he got to choose his apartment.

“I picked the one closest to the kitchen,” he laughs.

It’s no surprise. Delicious food is one of the three most important things people are looking for in an independent living community, says Melody Matney, executive director of The Villages of Farragut. Great food, wonderful friends and lots of fun are the top priorities.

The facility, which currently has 83 apartments, is approximately 50 percent occupied after being open for just over two months. The community is geared toward ages 55 and up, but most current residents are in their 70s and 80s. They’re an independent, social group, and most still drive.

Resident events director Sandi Simpson is charged with providing the fun. Last week, it came in the form of a Mardi Gras parade judged by Mayor Ron Williams, Farragutpress publisher Tony Cox and Arline Guyton, a former Mardi Gras krewe member. John Sicard, a resident from New Orleans, helped plan the party. The next event is a Kentucky Derby party. The enthusiasm of the residents makes the party planning easy, Sandi says.

“They do it!”

In addition to the parties, The Villages offers a happy hour with live entertainment every Friday. Residents take classes, play pool and work out in a fitness center. Outdoor space includes covered patios, a walking trail and a new dog park. It’s a community for those who want to live life to the fullest without having to worry about cooking, cleaning or paying multiple bills each month, Melody says. They choose The Villages because of the “magical” feeling they get when they visit.

“You have to feel it when you walk in. Just like when you’re shopping for a house, it’s the same thing. It’s the spirit of the community.”

The Villages of Farragut is operated by Goodworks Unlimited LLC, a family business based in Franklin, Tennessee, that owns 26 senior living communities in Tennessee and Kentucky. Plans for the Farragut campus include 66 independent living villas, an assisted living facility and a memory care unit. There has been tremendous interest in the villas, and Melody keeps a list of people who want to be contacted once construction begins. The company plans to break ground on the first villas in late spring or early summer.

The villas range from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet and have attached garages. Residents will have access to all the amenities offered in the community building, like the restaurant-style dining.

There’s no firm date on when construction will begin on assisted living or memory care offerings, but the company’s original plan was for completion within 10 years, and campus construction began over two years ago. Until then, The Villages of Farragut can provide personal care services to residents through Goodworks at Home, a non-medical, in-home care company also owned by Goodworks Unlimited.

“Our residents are very independent,” Sandi says. “They don’t want to need help, but they can get it if they need it.”

Melody invites the community to a special celebration at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. GoodWorks CEO Gary Keckley has commissioned a replica of the USS Hartford, Admiral David Farragut’s flagship, and the ship will be unveiled during a special ceremony that will include members of the Navy Reserves.

“We really want to be part of the fabric of Farragut,” Melody says.

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut Insider.

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