Tryon Estates Construction Update
The $10 Million renovation comes to a close
COLUMBUS—On Tuesday April 30, Tryon Estates hosted a media day to unveil their latest renovations and changes to the common area. Tryon Estates is owned by Acts Retirement-Life Communities whose corporate office is in Pennsylvania. Acts Retirement-Life Communities owns 26 resort-style campuses across 9 states, all along the Eastern United States.
Tryon Estates began construction in early 2018 to renovate the community’s clubhouse, referring to the public and common areas at the center of the complex. The clubhouse is located in the center of the two resident buildings, directly behind the main entrance. Executive Director Dee James said that the complex is actually designed so that the furthest resident apartment in A and B buildings are located one fifth of a mile from the clubhouse.
Acts decided to invest approximately $10 million into the renovation project at Tryon Estates. James said that typically a renovation of this size and scale comes with an addition of more private living facilities. The Executive Director of Acts Retirement-Life Communities Beth Carey attended the media event to answer questions. Carey said at the end of each year in August the Acts executive team tours all 26 campuses to met with residents and employees to assess the needs and desires of each community. Carey believes that the decision to invest in the renovations at Tryon Estates were a result of one of those executive tours. Acts Retirement-Life Communities are a not for profit organization that reinvests its profits back into the campuses.
James said that Tryon Estates residents were fantastic during the renovation process and were more than patient with staff and construction crews. The Tryon Estates clubhouse offers three dining rooms, a game room, community meeting and conference rooms, a kitchen, multipurpose room, and administrative offices.
“Updating the community to bring it more closely into the local architectural ‘mountain lodge’ feel” was important to residents but also to Acts leadership,” Carey said. “We realized that Tryon Estates is a unique retirement destination with a myriad of very special outdoor, natural advantages. Bringing natural light and finishes of this mountain location into the living and community spaces was deliberate. Through expansion of indoor-outdoor areas, we wanted to recreate the spirit of these mountains and the wonder they inspire.”
James emphasized that the renovations were made with the current residents and future residents in mind. James said that one thing that they noticed was that the formal dining room was not being used to its capacity, while the small café next to it had to turn tables over two to three times during a dining period. James said that the casual dining facilities were handling the bulk of the dining services. The renovation focused on reshaping and remapping a lot of the dining options and areas of the clubhouse to allow residents more options and to use the space more efficiently.
Tryon Estates now offers residents a casual dining experience at a new coffee bar, the Bistro, and The Mountain Club. Formal dining is still available in The Laurel room, as well as a private dining room for events. The renovation also made changes to the kitchen that gives the Bistro restaurant-style servings.
“Our residents braved construction and lived right here through the thick and thin of the whole construction period,” James said. “We all shared in the fascinating process of watching our environment evolve into an even more beautiful place as we lived and played in the middle of the work. It was exciting. Now, our residents are fond of telling me that it’s truly been worth the wait.”
The renovations to Tryon Estates are unique in the way that they were funded and constructed without the addition of a new resident facility or source of income for Acts. However there have been rumors that Tryon Estates and Acts would like to develop more Villas on the property. Tryon Estates is a 215acre campus located in Columbus, with a large portion of that land still undeveloped.
After the recent civil lawsuit in 2018 with the Town of Columbus over water usage rates, Tryon Estates is hesitant to push for expansion at this time. The lawsuit was settled outside of court with the Town of Columbus agreeing to pay a total of $947,813 to the Acts Corporation. Columbus paid $500,000 immediately and then $29,075.54 each month over the course of two years until the total agreed upon amount is paid.
—By Samuel Robinson