In January of 2015, just within half a mile from the #1 ranked medical center in Georgia, the Beverly J. Searles Foundation, Inc. (“BJS”), a not-for-profit owner of senior living communities, opened Myrtle Terraces at New Holland in Gainesville, Georgia. Myrtle Terraces is a home for individuals aged 55 years or older. The independent lifestyle and amenities that Myrtle Terraces offers to its residents are unparalleled. “Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for the residents that we serve by encouraging independence and choices, while celebrating individuality, preserving dignity, privacy, and nurturing the spirit,” says Rick Searles, Executive Director of the Beverly Searles Foundation.
Myrtle Terraces is a mixed income development with 84 rental units, with 76 units targeting seniors earning at or below 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). There are several amenities that attract residents to Myrtle Terraces, including a community kitchen, game and exercise room, arts and crafts center, and a barber shop/beauty parlor, but what really stands out is the commitment to foster collaborative relationships with the community. BJS created a partnership with Pacolet-Milliken and the City of Gainesville by building a city park next to the living facility, creating an enjoyable green space for both residents of Myrtle Terraces and the Gainesville Community.
The public-private partnership did not stop with the addition of a green space, it also extended into the academic and public health sectors through a
partnership with nearby college, Brenau University. At the Myrtle Terraces Wellness Lab, residents receive high quality care from Brenau faculty and their students. Students, in turn, can achieve their educational goals as they provide nutrition classes, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and geriatric psychology sessions for residents.
Myrtle Terraces would not have been possible without a tax credit award; this investment generated nearly $12 million in private funds to develop the property, and the partnership with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will ensure quality affordable housing for decades to come. Myrtle Terraces is the prime example of a development that tailors to the unique and individual needs of its residents and the community that it serves.
“We stop at nothing to provide our residents an opportunity to take advantage of everything life has to offer. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for the residents that we serve by encouraging independence and choices, while celebrating individuality, preserving dignity, privacy and nurturing the spirit.”
Rick Searles, Beverly Searles Foundation