Silvergate Rancho Bernardo California
RANCHO BERNARDO – July 8, 2020 – Rancho Bernardo News Journal
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
After years of planning and anticipating, the first residents started moving into Silvergate Rancho Bernardo on Monday.
The very first to move in was Lily Young, who came from Escondido. The move-ins have been spaced apart, with about 40 scheduled for each of the next couple months.
The vast majority of those who have signed leases live within a 2-mile radius of Silvergate Rancho Bernardo or have grown children who live in the Rancho Bernardo/Poway area, said Matthew Petree, director of property development for AmeriCare Health & Retirement, Inc. He oversaw the Rancho Bernardo project. In contrast, the typical draw for a retirement community is a 5- to 10-mile radius, Petree said.
“Rancho Bernardo is so packed dense with seniors, who all want to stay in RB,” he said.
Silvergate Retirement Residence
All the apartments and cottages are licensed for care so residents can age-in-place rather than move from unit-to-unit as their care needs advance. They can access the help they need à la carte style. The exception is for those needing memory care, who can move into the on-site facility designed for their safety needs while their spouse can live in their original unit and walk over to visit.
The retirement community at 16061 Avenida Venusto has been in the works since December 2013 when AmeriCare Health & Retirement, Inc. purchased the 10.88-acre vacant parcel, locally dubbed “the water tower site,” from Poway Unified School District for $7.38 million.
While there were a few delays as the project moved through the City of San Diego’s development process, the unexpected last hurdle was completing construction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The conditions delayed construction a little … but we worked it out,” said Matthew Petree on Monday. “Had we opened three to five months ago, it would have been a hard time to move in. It was just fate to have … the timing work out fairly well.”
“The residents are anxious to move in and excited,” said Greg Petree, president of AmeriCare Medical Properties. “We’ve had good communication and want to do it right, opening with 100 percent completed.”
Not having residents move into the 182 apartments, 20 cottages and 48 memory care suites while construction was occurring was a priority for them, the brothers said.
“We made promises … that we would be delivering a nice, beautiful project that was not phased,” Matthew Petree said. “We certainly feel we delivered on that promise (to the community and future residents).”
He said prior to the pandemic the retirement community was 90 percent pre-leased. As the pandemic grew this spring, about 10 percent of those planning to move in changed their minds due to COVID-19 anxiety. “The vast majority stuck with us and kept the faith, which is encouraging,” Matthew Petree said.
Residents must receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to moving in plus be quarantined for a few days after their arrival, Greg Petree said. When outside of their living unit all residents must wear masks, as do all staff and visitors throughout the buildings and grounds.
All of the 20 cottages that include multiple bedrooms and attached garages are “sold out,” as are most of the studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Reservations for the memory care suites — for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory issues — recently began and the first residents can move in later this month. Greg Petree said Silvergate uses the “positive approach to care” and the suites have been built in “neighborhoods” of 12 units that surround a common living area for socialization.
“The silver lining is that (the pandemic) created opportunities (to move in) that did not exist,” Greg Petree said about apartment openings created when a few future residents changed their minds.
All units are leased on a monthly basis, ranging from $4,500 for the studio apartments to $9,000 for the cottages. The fee includes meals and access to all on-site amenities. Residents are also members of the Community Association of Bernardo Heights, so they have membership privileges in the nearby Bernardo Heights Community Center, Matthew Petree said.
As for on-site amenities, there are many varied options. The clubhouse has a movie theater; art studio where rotating artists will lead activities; a fitness center with options designed around senior fitness plus nearby dance room; a game room and card room; salon for hair appointments, manicures and pedicures plus massages; a media center; indoor and outdoor lounge areas and a health center. At the latter there is on-site nursing staff plus an exam room that doctors in the community can book to see residents who are their patients instead of residents going to the doctor’s office.
Silvergate Retirement Community
There are also two restaurant-style dining facilities. El Castillo, a formal dining room with adjacent private room that residents can book for special celebrations and gatherings, plus Dave’s Bar, a bar/bistro that offers indoor and outdoor seating in a more casual setting. The latter is named in honor of their father, David Petree, who is AmeriCare’s chairman, president and CEO.
The cottages surround a swimming pool, putting green, bocce court, barbecues and outdoor lounge area.
Between the cottages and Avenida Venusto there is an area for dogs to be walked plus a tot lot playground, both open during daylight hours. This section is open to Silvergate residents and their guests plus their Bernardo Heights neighbors who can also access the tot lot and dog walk area.
“Our goal was to try for it to feel like a boutique hotel,” Greg Petree said, adding the clubhouse and outdoor recreational facilities are designed to be an extension of the residential units.
Residents in the apartments plus the anticipated 100 employees park their vehicles in a garage under the clubhouse and apartments.
The residential units feature many large windows and sliding doors, included “to let in a lot of natural light, to make it bright and cheery,” Matthew Petree said.
Silvergate Retirement Home
“A lot of seniors have been in their homes for 30 years,” Greg Petree said. “This is their first new home in decades. Some have reinvested in their house, but homes age over time. So we had a lot of fun planning and envisioning what they want to live in. For them, this is the opportunity for a new place again, that reflects today’s current (architectural trends).”
A team has also been available to help the seniors downsize their belongings, figure out what furniture to bring with them and assist throughout the moving process.
“People love the team that is helping them move … (residents) do not do much physically,” Matthew Petree said.
“Downsizing, for the most part, is a big decision,” Greg Petree said, adding, “This is not yesterday’s retirement community.”
Matthew Petree and his brother, Greg Petree, in El Castillo, Silvergate Rancho Bernardo’s formal dining room. Their family’s company, AmeriCare Health & Retirement, Inc., developed and manages the retirement community. By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Silvergate Rancho Bernardo’s executive team holding a meeting on Monday before the retirement community’s first residents moved in later that day.