A new kind of senior residential complex is under construction at Carthage's former airport bringing scaled-down housing for people who are tired of maintaining a home.

A new kind of senior residential complex is under construction at Carthage's former airport bringing scaled-down housing for people who are tired of maintaining a home.
MBL Development, a Kansas City firm, is building Villas at Myers Park, a complex of apartments for older people that caters to people who don't need help to live on their own, but are looking to downsize.
“This is independent living with supportive services,” said Michelle Jennings, vice president for development for MBL Development. “We have a support staff which will help figure out if you need transportation somewhere, let you know where to go, we'll have monthly social events, a newsletter, all those things to make it a community, and that's all included.”
The complex is under construction on South Garrison Avenue between Airport Drive and George E. Phelps Boulevard.

Independent living
The $5 million development will include 36 apartment units, each one sized at 908 square feet with two bedrooms and all appliances included.
It's being build for people aged 62 and older.
Kim Lingle, president of MBL Development, said the facility fills a housing niche for older people that's not being met right now in Carthage.
Lingle said Carthage has a number of places offering assisted living, but none offering housing for seniors who don't need help with their daily lives.
“There is no independent living for the elderly and that's a gap,” Lingle said. “We did a demographic profile and we found out that Carthage has a population that was getting a little bit older, so that's why we came. This is people who don't want their house anymore, don't want to worry about a lawn and maintenance, but they can still drive themselves around and do things for themselves. There are a lot of people like that.”

Support services
Jennings said Villas at Myers Park will have a community room at the center of the complex and a manager and staff that will stage events at that community center.
She said a similar housing complex the company owns in Sedalia hosts pot luck dinners every month, card games every week and other activities.
Lingle said he expects rent for these apartments to be less than $500 and the units will be Energy-Star rated, meaning utilities costs will be low.
All the units will have two-bedrooms. Lingle said his experience building in other communities tells him even if they are downsizing, older people still want that second bedroom to host the grandkids or for other uses.
“We found out that a lot of the elderly would like to have their kids or their grandkids come and stay with them if they're here on holidays, things like that,” Lingle said. “There's always a need for that second bedroom. The other thing is you might find that people are downsizing. They might be moving in from the farm and this is a great avenue for that.”

Comprehensive plan
Carthage Chamber of Commerce President Mark Elliff said the development is the latest in a construction spurt in Myers Park, a development on what used to be the city's municipal airport.
The city has worked for years to market Myers Park, but property sales and construction had stalled after all the lots on the Grand Avenue and Fir Road had been developed in the early 2000s.
That changed when Oak Pointe of Carthage, an assisted living center, opened in 2016.
The city extended Garrison Avenue to the roundabout at the intersection with George E. Phelps Boulevard last year.
Since then the city has sold lots along Garrison to MBL Development and to Schmidt Associates.
Elliff said the Villas at Myers Park fits in well with the city's comprehensive plan and with the plan for Myers Park.
“It ties in with the city's comprehensive plan because this is one thing the city has wanted to do is have housing for seniors,” Elliff said. “We didn't have that and this is really the first set of apartments that's been built here that hasn't been assisted or skilled nursing. We're excited, it fills out the rest of the corridor on Garrison in Myers Park, the goal is to tie in retail development on the west side of Garrison to be able to service the needs of these residents.”
Lingle said he expects construction to be finished late in the summer of 2018.
He said the company is not taking reservations yet but people interested can contact the Carthage Chamber for contact information for the developers.