KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – It was a day two years in the making – move-in day at ‘The Blake,’ Kingsport’s new luxury senior living community. Today an excited staff welcomed the first of what will eventually be 130 residents in the $21 million building.
“We’re trying to be different here,” said Cindy Lemons, activities director for The Blake. “We want this to be the best place they’ve ever been, and for them to be so excited.”
The first resident to arrive this morning was World War II veteran Milford Williams. When he found out The Blake was being built, he was first to sign up for an apartment.
“They’ve got all kinds of surprises. I’m just anxious to find out what I’m in for!” Williams said.
Kingsport’s facility is the thirteenth Blake to be built in the US. Nine more are in development in various southern states.
“I’ve worked in the Tri-Cities area,” said Glenn Barclay, Blake owner and co-founder. “And I love the culture here, I love the people here, and it was right for our project.”
The Blake will employ up to 100 people once at full capacity. The two-year construction project faced four months of delays due to the heavy rainfall, but now residents can enjoy what Barclay says is the perfect gathering space for families.
“They think of The Blake, and they want to come sit down in the coffee shop with Mom and Dad and have some coffee or an espresso,” Barclay said. “They want to come and experience the dining. They want to come and watch a movie or a sports game in the theater. So we really try to create a culture and a vibe that everyone of all ages will love to come and visit.”
There are 118 apartments, 48 of which are for Memory Care patients. The Blake has a coffee shop, courtyard, movie theater, putting green, salon and more. Barclay says they’re especially proud of their dining, a full-service restaurant with a gourmet menu.
But while there’s plenty to do inside The Blake, one of the main goals is to keep residents active in Kingsport.
“We’re also going to take these folks and make them a part of the community,” Lemons said. “We want them to get their library card, we want them to go to the Aquatic Center, we want them to go to Bays Mountain. We want people to see folks from The Blake everywhere they go.”
So the big question: how much does living at the Blake cost? Rates start at $3,000 a month and go upwards depending on the level of care needed.
“We have a waiting list right now. We’re still accepting reservations, but right now we have a waiting list in the assisted living,” Barclay said.
Luckily for residents like Williams, the wait is over.
“I’ve been waiting for this for two years,” Williams said. “And I’m finally here. And I’m real anxious to get settled in.”