What once was home to an exclusive girls’ school and the easternmost edge of the Caruth Ranch is now a new retirement home for seniors.

For the past year, the five-story apartment complex at the corner of Belmont and Greenville has been undergoing remodeling to convert it from the former Belmont Towers apartments into a retirement and assisted-living community, says marketing director Zandria Stapleton.

The 300-unit Vickery Towers site originally was the first Hockaday School for girls; today, the school is located on Forest Lane in North Dallas.

Even earlier, prior to the development of the Lower Greenville area, the land was used as the Caruth ranch outpost, the Bosque Bonita. That’s how Bonita Avenue, which runs parallel to Belmont on the west side of Greenville, derived its name.

All of the tenants in the Vickery Towers must be 55 or older and able to function independently. However, half the units will be reserved for people who require small amounts of assistance because of factors such as mild memory loss or minor physical impairment.

Tenants must provide their own furnishings as in most apartment complexes, but at Vickery Towers, the monthly rent also provides three meals a day in one of two dining rooms, housekeeping and laundry services, and transportation by minibus to appointments and outings.

By October, the complex also will have a new community center containing a small convenience store, exercise facility for wellness and rehab, on-site banking, a beauty and barber salon and a non-denominational chapel, Stapleton says.

The complex is believed to be the first of its kind in Old East Dallas and already has attracted tenants from the Lakewood, Lake Highlands and University Park areas, she says. Some tenants from the Belmont Towers days also have stayed on.

One of the main attractions of retirement communities is a reduction in chores such as home and yard upkeep, says Laurie Stepps, community director of Vickery Towers. Tenants have the freedom to relax, travel, socialize, volunteer or even hold a job without worrying about many of life’s daily necessities, she says.

NEWS & NOTES

Ridgewood Park AARP: The Ridgewood Park AARP Chapter will meet Sept. 25, at 10 a.m., at the Ridgewood Park United Methodist Church, 6445 E. Lovers Ln. The program will feature “Sharps & Flats,” a chorus from the Greater Lakewood Shepherd Center directed by Martha Shaw. Lunch will be served at a cost of $1.50 each. Everyone is welcome to attend. Games will be played after lunch. The group’s community project is donations to the Wilkinson Center in the way of food, clothing or cash. The help is always appreciated. For information, call Dorthea Sooby at 214-827-6678.

M-Streets Alzheimer’s Support Group: The M-Streets Alzheimer’s Support Group, which meets at Monticello West, 5114 McKinney, has changed its meeting time to 5:30 p.m., the first Tuesday of each month. The support group provides a forum for family members and friends of the Alzheimer’s patient to share feelings, concerns and information about the disease. For information, call Sandy Holacka at 214-528-0660.

C.C. Young: “The Women’s Financial Clinic,” a project of the Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas, provides a non-threatening, learning experience in financial matters for women, by women. It has recently expanded to accommodate women 55 and older where they work and congregate. A mobile clinic will be held at the C.C. Young Retirement Facility, 4829 W. Lawther, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon. To schedule an appointment or for information, call Ann Moy at Senior Citizens Greater Dallas at 214-823-5700, or Linda Rogers at C.C. Young at 214-827-8080.

The White Rock Newcomers Club: The White Rock Newcomers Club will meet Sept. 2, at the Holiday Inn, LBJ at Jupiter Rd. Hospitality time is 9:30-10 a.m. The program will be a style show by J.C. Penney, Northpark. Cost of the luncheon is $13, and will be served at 11:30 a.m., followed by bridge and other games. Membership is open to all residents of Dallas County. For information and reservations, call 972-414-9209 or 214-341-1494.


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