Arizona State University to develop life plan community

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An artist's rendering of Mirabella at ASU.
An artist's rendering of Mirabella at ASU.

Arizona State University plans to develop a continuing care retirement / life plan community on its campus, within steps of downtown Tempe restaurants and cultural venues. The project is a collaboration with the ASU Foundation and Pacific Retirement Services.

The university is hoping to attract older alumni and retired faculty, staff and friends by providing lifelong learning, a continuum of healthcare services for aging adults and convenient access to performing arts, social, athletic and research activities. Planned amenities include on-site physicians, fitness, dining, estate planning, on-campus educational and mentoring opportunities, and concierge services, as well as intergenerational child-care programming, which the university says has been shown to improve academic performance in children and emotional and physical health in aging adults. ASU is exploring potential partnerships with the Mayo Clinic, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and ASU's nursing, health innovation, nutrition, arts and design and teaching programs.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide intellectual stimulation for senior members of the ASU family — and in an altogether new way,” said Rick Shangraw, CEO of the ASU Foundation. “The ASU community will certainly benefit from their presence, as we hope they will from their return to the campus of the nation's most innovative university.”

Penn State University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College have similar communities.

The building is expected to have 20 stories, with a total of of 291 independent, assisted, memory-care and skilled-nursing units inspired by the urban Mirabella communities in Portland, OR, and Seattle. The site will be LEED-certified and will use solar power. Construction may begin in 2018, with occupancy predicted in spring 2020.

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