Easy Living in Bozeman: the Knolls at Hillcrest January 14, 2011
Lifestyle community provides easy access to Bozeman arts, culture and medical facilities
By DAVE REESE It's no secret that Baby Boomers represent one of the largest population demographics in the United States. And as they retire, this generation is looking for convenient access to health care, abundant recreation and quality cultural offerings. Enter the Knolls at Hillcrest, a Bozeman development that offers an interesting alternative in city living.
The Knolls at Hillcrest is located adjacent to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and is within walking distance of downtown Bozeman and Montana State University. With views of town and the Bridger Mountains, the development offers a lifestyle that caters to ease of living, with easy access to the outdoor and cultural amenities of Bozeman.
The Knolls at Hillcrest is Montana's first 55-plus active adult lifestyle community, and it's a reflection of a trend that is showing up in other areas of the United States, as Baby Boomers enter retirement.
The unique floor plans at The Knolls at Hillcrest make good use of abundant natural light in almost every room. Architectural Design by Place Architecture. Interior Design for The Knolls model homes by Rocky Mountain Design Interiors. (Dave Reese photos)
People are looking for access to health care, cultural arts and recreation - all things that Bozeman has plenty of. Custom homes, designed to accommodate a range of interior design preferences from contemporary to classic Montana, are specifically appointed to accommodate the needs of the 55+ lifestyle. The homes are built on zero lot lines, in order to maximize exterior space defined by urban density requirements. This lot configuration was creatively used to inspire private courtyards that transition and extend the indoor/outdoor living space with outdoor rooms.
The majority of square footage in each floor plan is concentrated on the living and entertainment spaces of a home, rather than to accommodate a specific number of bedrooms that has become the more traditional model for home configurations.
Once children are grown and gone, the space needs of parents change, and these designs reflect renewed lifestyle choices and options. The Knolls community is also designed to accommodate and support the ultimate active lifestyle. Seasonal landscaping, lawn maintenance, snow removal, and security checks are provided for all residences. Offering a lock and leave lifestyle, home owners are free to travel whenever it is convenient. "It gives folks an opportunity to enjoy life, and not have to spend their weekends taking care of the lawn," Cheryl Ridgely, vice president of business development, said.
The Knolls has eight different floor plans available, each suited for particular lots around the development. Homes range in size from 1,500 square feet to just over 4,000, and are priced between $424,000 to $795,000. The homes, designed by Bozeman's Place Architecture, feature a universal design concept, which creates an aesthetically pleasing integration of accessibility throughout a home so transitions are easily accommodated as the homeowners' lifestyles change.
Each lot was specially engineered for one-story living. While some home plans offer lofts and/or walk-out lower levels, primary living spaces are all located on the main floor of each house, which is barrier free. Access from the driveway, to garage, to the main living areas of the house can be accomplished without navigating any stairs.
Place Architecture has used clean lines in each of the designs, and no matter which floor plan is chosen for a particular home site, the results have already been remarkable. Abundant natural light, gracious corridors, and open living spaces are the hallmark of the home designs. The custom homes are sized for the lifestyles of singles or couples, yet are big enough to easily accommodate extended family visits. One floor plan even includes a casita guest house that is perfect for a studio, college kids home on vacation, the mother in law, or a home office.
The development is owned by The Highlands, a subsidiary of Bozeman Deaconess Health Services and it is adjacent to Hillcrest, the hospital's senior living community. The Knolls features parks, trail access, mixed-use and residential areas " all features that the developers gleaned from examining active adult living projects around the country.
"We took the gems of what we learned, and applied them here," Ridgely said.