In a convenient location just off Interstate 65, a grand opening was held in February 2016 for Cobblestone Village in Clanton. The development, which received more than $812,000 in Housing Credits from AHFA in 2014, is targeted to seniors 55 and older. Five percent of the units in the 56-unit development were designed and constructed to be readily accessible to individuals with mobility impairments. An additional two percent of the units are accessible to individuals with sensory impairments (i.e. hearing or vision impairments).
Managed by Gateway Management Company, the development has a long list of amenities including a clubhouse/community building, picnic area with grills, gazebo, covered bus stop, computer center, exercise/fitness room, and units come with washer and dryer, storm doors, and an emergency pull cord/button.
The amenities are one of the things that Janae Bryant, property manager for Cobblestone Village, is really proud of. She said, “I am a social worker by trade so it is my privilege to be able to provide [seniors] a beautiful and affordable place to live and retire. I feel that being a manager in a Senior Community, it is very important to always know your residents and their families. I love what I do, and want my residents to live in a peaceful and enjoyable community.”
Bryant’s efforts are certainly not going unnoticed. Residents have nothing but rave reviews for the development and Bryant. Resident Milton Poole said, “They put out a calendar at the first of the month letting us know what’s going on, there are bible studies, breakfasts with staff, and off-property activities like going to the Peach Park."
Poole said, “Janae is really good to me and the other residents – the “villagers” – that’s what we call ourselves." A military vet with more than 22 years of service, Poole also said, “It’s quiet compared to where I came from. I like quiet, and I love the space. Compared to my last place, the space is a lot bigger, so then had to get more furniture!” Overall though, Poole says the affordability is the best, “My main concern was staying in my budget and making sure the rent would stay the same.”
Sheryl Killian agreed with Poole, “Cobblestone Village helped me out a lot with my money situation because I was having it so tight. I didn’t need the house I was in after my husband was gone.” Killian’s husband moved to a VA home in Alex City, and Killian goes to visit him a couple of times a week. She said, “I can get over there a lot quicker from here than I could from Millbrook, and there’s less traffic too.”
Killian heard about Cobblestone Village from her sister who was living with her for a while and then started to look for a place of her own. Now, both Killian and her sister live at Cobblestone. Killian says, “It feels like home here. It just does. I have made real good friends. I take Madison (her dog) out for a walk around the circle every day, and everyone is just really friendly here.”
Perhaps friendliest of all is Virginia Garrick, who was the first resident at Cobblestone Village. She said, “I was watching the day they started pouring the cement, and I called every day after to see when it was going to be ready.”
Before she came to Cobblestone Village, Garrick was battling cancer and had surgery. She said, “I went into a deep depression. I used to live way out in the country, and it was just so depressing. That’s the reason I just kept trying to get something that would pull me out of the depression. When I saw this place, I just thought that would help me more than anything in the world.”
Garrick said living at Cobblestone Village indeed did pull her out of her depression, and she’s cancer free now. She said, “I’m feeling real good. It made a whole turnaround to my life, health wise and everything. My children love to come here, I see them more.” Her daughters were also in attendance at the development’s grand opening where Garrick shared her story about coming to live at Cobblestone Village.
Now, Garrick spends most of her time tending to plants and seasonal decorations on her front porch. She says, “I love the look of the apartments inside and out. They are just so homey. It’s my little abode, and I love it.”