Anyone that has recently walked or ridden their bicycle on the Rio Grande Trail between Second and Fourth streets has seen it: A dusty lot on the North side of the trail is sprouting two large buildings that are scheduled to be completed prior to the end of 2020.
These buildings will become Sopris Lodge – Carbondale, housing 74 apartments that the development’s Executive Director, Mike Luciano, says are designed for “elevated senior living.” One of the two-story buildings has been designed with a dual purpose, with one floor reserved for Memory Care residents, and the other floor reserved for Assisted Living residents. Both levels of the second building will be dedicated to Independent Living residents. Each building has been carefully designed to meet the needs of their intended residents. Of the 74 apartments, 27 will be reserved for Independent Living residents, 24 are intended for Memory Care residents, and 23 are intended for Assisted Living residents.
Both buildings have been thoughtfully designed to accommodate the comfort, safety and limitations of their intended residents. For example, the building that will house the Memory Care and Assisted Living apartments will feature a central, open-air courtyard where residents can safely enjoy being outdoors. The Independent Living building will feature apartments with complete kitchens, outdoor patios and small decks. The owner/developer, WellAge Communities, has even included on-site storage units, as well as 30 covered parking spots for residents with vehicles. But, vehicles may not be necessary for some residents, as Sopris Lodge is within easy walking distance to Carbondale’s downtown restaurants, parks, and the Crystal Theatre.
All residents will enjoy a full range of appropriate services, including house cleaning, laundry and linen service. Transportation will be provided for doctor or dentist appointments, and the resident Life Enrichment Director may even schedule field trips to local festivals or performances around the Valley. A Wellness Director will also be on-site to address residents’ healthcare needs. Other features will include the aforementioned courtyard, a garden area, and full dining room for the Memory Care residents, and an impressive collection of notable amenities for the Independent Living residents, including a full dining room, hot tub, bistro, fitness room, library, game room, salon, spa, Wi-Fi, and a pet service area – yes, a dog or a cat can continue to live with their owner in the Independent Living building.
The Executive Director at Sopris Lodge – Carbondale is Mike Luciano, who has been a Roaring Fork Valley resident for over 25 years. Mike offered that everyone from the Town of Carbondale to local shop owners and residents have been “very supportive,” and describes local feedback on the project as positive. He went on to note that there have not been any significant delays in the project. During the construction phase, Mike can usually be found (weekdays) in his temporary office space at 265 Main Street in Carbondale. Mike reports that prospective Independent Living tenants are already putting priority reservation deposits down for apartments in Sopris Lodge, which will hold their place and give them a choice of available rooms in the finished project. He noted that he had received one such deposit on the day that I visited his Main Street office. Mike also pointed out that one of the major benefits of the Carbondale location is that current Valley residents will be able to sell their current home, downsize, travel if they wish, and still have a home here in the Roaring Fork Valley.
On the whole, once completed, Sopris Lodge is likely to benefit the Valley in a number of ways: It is estimated that it will provide up to 20 new jobs in Carbondale, and it will have almost no impact on town parks, schools or roads.
When completed, Sopris Lodge’s street address will be 295 Rio Grande Ave., Carbondale, CO 81623.