U of M Alumni Association to Partner on Senior Housing Project Image

Monday, March 18, 2019

Finance & Commerce

U of M Alumni Association to Partner on Senior Housing Project

A new partnership with Excelsior-based Oppidan will give senior citizens another shot at living the college campus life.

Oppidan’s 283-unit Pillars of Prospect Park senior living project at 22 Malcolm Ave. SE, just off the University of Minnesota’s campus, is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020. On Thursday, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association announced it is partnering with Oppidan and Ebenezer Management Services to create a “U of M lifestyle” for Pillars residents.

All residents at Pillars, which offers assisted, independent and memory-care units as well as a pre-K day care, will receive a lifetime membership in the alumni association, said Lisa Huber, marketing director for the association.

That comes with access to a wide range of amenities and perks, from discounts at campus events to travel opportunities, Huber said. The association also pictures opportunities to work with current students on research and internships, and have professors present talks and symposiums for Pillars residents.

“It just seemed like an easy pairing that if you’re going to live at Pillars of Prospect Park and going to live a U of M lifestyle, you’re going to want a lifetime membership in the University of Minnesota Alumni Association,” Huber said in an interview.

For Oppidan and Ebenezer, the partnership is an unusual amenity that will draw potential tenants to Pillars, and create a vibrant quality of life once they move in.

“Intergenerational programs are invaluable to the students, children and older adults who participate,” Oppidan Senior Vice President Shannon Rusk said in a press release. “Seniors draw from the energy of the children and the children benefit immensely from the love and wisdom of the seniors. We are delighted to offer this programming in our newest community at Prospect Park.”

The alumni association has been looking at possibilities to connect senior living and campus life since 2015, inspired by partnerships on other campuses around the country. Oppidan and Ebenezer approached the association about a year ago to discuss a partnership for the Pillars development, Huber said.

“It had to be something that would add value to our alumni and friends of the university,” Huber said.

The association believes the resulting partnership will do just that, while also furthering the group’s mission to support alumni at all stages of their lives.

“[The developers] could’ve done this without the alumni association, being close to campus,” Huber said, “but by bringing us in … we truly know this is going to catapult this to the next level.”

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