COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–First Community Village in Upper Arlington has opened The Fairfax, an independent living complex that is part of a $37 million update.

The four-story building with 70 apartments in the National Church Residences community along Riverside Drive north of 5th Avenue is available for those 55 and older, according to a news release. Residents have access to an on-site wellness center including a cardio gym with spa services.

“Our seniors, as they get older. they want to continue to engage in their community,” said Matt Rule, senior vice president of development at National Church Residences – an Upper Arlington-based nonprofit organization that provides housing communities for seniors.

“They want to continue to engage with their grandkids, with their neighborhood, with their peers, they want to be active. “

According to the news release, the apartments will add 130 new residents to the 302 currently live in First Community Village.

Brendan King, Upper Arlington’s City Council president, said this addition helps diversify housing options in the city.

“People love Upper Arlington. They love living here,” he said. “But they can’t find the right house for them, and if they can’t do stairs or can’t do those kinds of things, this sort of facility allows them to age in place, and we’re really proud of that.”

Plans for the expansion were announced in November 2017. Some of the $37 million was allocated to a new gated entrance and updates to common spaces in The Chelsea, a building next to The Fairfax.

Elford Inc. handled construction.

National Church Residences might explore future expansion if demands for senior housing continue to increase in the area, Todd Hutchins, National Church Residences’ director of public relations, said in an email.

“This has been a long time in the making for us as an organization,” Rule said. “We really saw a need for additional senior housing in this Tri-Village area.”

Fifty of the 70 apartments have been pre-leased as of Thursday, and Rule said about 30 people already have moved in. The campus offers continuing care services as well.

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