By Maggie Pruitt
Pause a moment and imagine the ideal community. It would have things to do outdoors, places to eat, shop, stay, and be entertained, and be near good schools and healthcare facilities. It would be the kind of place a family could easily take care of both their children and their parents. It would be a place where life is thriving.
“Think about what you would want your community to look like in 20 years, if you could make that happen,” says Spencer Clements, principal in charge of planning and development of ATLAS. “That’s what we’re getting to do.”
ATLAS is an extension of the Traditions Club and Community, which opened in 2004 with the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that is home to the Texas A&M University men’s and women’s golf teams. The entire development comprises 1000 acres: ATLAS is the corporate campus area; Traditions Club and Community is the residential and club component; and Lake Walk is the town center. In the past five years, the area has developed quickly so that visitors now can fully see the footprint of the lifestyle community.
Clements likens the development of the property to a bonfire, adding small pieces at first as kindling to fuel what is becoming a strong, bright flame built to last. Bryan College Station’s growth is a major part of the fuel.
With an affordable cost of living, friendly environment, job availability, and good education opportunities, the number of people who want to move to B/CS is consistently increasing. Aggies who want to retire in familiar surroundings – whether that’s near family or just being back in Aggieland – increasingly are part of the growth. “We were not a retirement destination 30 years ago,” says Clements.
The welcoming people, a vibrant downtown scene, the ability to get places easily, and the availability of jobs are also driving increased population. B/CS is not only a college town, but also an attractive place to live and retire, which also attracts businesses.
“Bryan College Station is now at the forefront of becoming a business center,” says Robert Rodriguez, senior associate at Buffalo Agency, which handles public relations for the development. Part of the vision has become reality with the recent opening of CHI St. Joseph Health MatureWell Lifestyle Center and the Stella Hotel in the new Lake Walk Town Center, and the soon-to-open Parc at Traditions senior living community. Each of the entities brings different pieces to the overall plan.
Traditions Real Estate is currently developing Lake Walk as a town center near Traditions Club & Community. With the new Stella Hotel as the anchor, Lake Walk is bringing together outdoor opportunities, employment, entertainment, food and drink, and shopping. The first tenant of the Lake Walk town center is P.O.V. – a coffee shop that also will offer beer, wine, and dining – scheduled to open in May.
Near the liveliness at Lake Walk, Parc at Traditions Premier Senior Living will bring comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle opportunities for retired seniors.
In March, CHI St. Joseph Health opened the MatureWell Lifestyle Center. The health and wellness center is for adults 55 and older and focuses on helping seniors achieve their health goals. Programs help manage illness and treatments by offering access to qualified physicians, personal rehabilitation services, customized wellness plans, exercise equipment, a swimming pool, disease education, and a cooking program – all in one place. MatureWell is collaborating with the Texas A&M Health Science Center where students are studying medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health with an emphasis in programming for senior health and wellness. This pairs with CHI St. Joseph as a care facility focused on senior residents.
“We’ve got a unique conglomeration of services that are much deeper than you would expect in a community of this size,” says Donovan French, vice president of Strategy and Business Development at CHI St. Joseph.
Parc at Traditions is bringing the lifestyle component to create a three-part collaboration of best-in-class organizations dedicated to quality senior lifestyle, explains Andy Slavin, executive vice president of Parc at Traditions. One of Parc’s greatest differentiations is its hospitality-driven approach to senior living, which is one of the key characteristics that make Parc at Traditions such a great complement to the Traditions and ATLAS communities, says Slavin.
Parc at Traditions will deliver the residential component; healthcare is available through CHI St. Joseph MatureWell, and research, education, and training is added through collaboration with the Texas A&M Health Science Center. “You’ve got academic and training, you’ve got care, and then we’re the lifestyle piece,” says Slavin.
The effect is enhanced by the fact that the three organizations enjoy such close proximity to each other, literally neighbors in ATLAS and Traditions, adds Slavin. “We have an opportunity to serve seniors and their families and give them an opportunity to access an array of services that we don’t think is available anywhere else in the country,” he adds.
Together it builds the overall vision: just adjacent to the Traditions Club & Community, people will be able to access quality healthcare through CHI St. Joseph MatureWell, benefit from research by the Texas A&M Health Science Center, enjoy entertainment, shopping, food, and drink along the Lake Walk town center, and live a lifestyle exclusively for seniors with Parc at Traditions.
“There is a fabulous tapestry of life developing in this part of Bryan,” says Slavin.
Picture yourself atop the six-story observation platform at the heart of the ATLAS development. This is what you see:
As the only master-planned community in Texas created for companies engaged in health and wellness and technological fields, the ATLAS vision is to offer a thriving planned community chock-full of lifestyle, employment, and outdoor opportunities. ATLAS is located within the Texas A&M Biocorridor, adjacent to the university’s Health Science Center and just two miles from Easterwood Airport and the main Texas A&M campus. ATLAS is the corporate campus area, which currently includes ViaSat, FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnology, iBio, and Nutrabolt. The College of Veterinary Medicine, the $32 million Hildebrand Equine Complex, Mays Business School, Research Park, National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing and the Texas Institute of Preclinical Studies are all within 2.5 miles.
The Stella Hotel
Opening in April, this sleek new boutique hotel is the epicenter of ATLAS and anchors Lake Walk. The Stella brings together an airy modern design to create a destination that inspires calm and relaxation. As you stand on the balcony of The Stella Presidential Suite, Kyle Field anchors the southern skyline a scant two miles away.
Campfire, the restaurant at The Stella, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Hershel’s is a speakeasy-reminiscent bar within the hotel with Texas hospitality, along with craft cocktails, a selection of small batch whiskey, and notable wines and craft beers. The Watershed, The Stella’s poolside bar, is next to private cabanas and lounge chairs that are adjacent to the outdoor pool and hot tub.
The Stella offers more than 20,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space including an outdoor space, dubbed The Back Yard for its grassy lawn and expansive views.
Parc at Traditions
Just north and west of the observation tower and within easy walking distance is Parc at Traditions. Anne Reggie, who boasts 16 years of operating experience in all key aspects of the senior living continuum, is general manager. “We are exceptionally pleased to welcome a general manager with Anne’s expertise and leadership abilities,” says Woody DeWeese, vice president of operations at Parc Communities. “Her experience opening and operating senior living communities, and her hospitality-driven approach to serving residents, make her the ideal choice to accomplish our vision at Parc at Traditions.”
Parc at Traditions will feature 159 senior living apartment homes, including 91 independent living, 44 assisted living and 24 memory care units. The senior living enclave is situated on a beautiful 14-acre wooded site. Parc at Traditions is a full-service rental community, which does not require large upfront entry fees or deposits. Signature lifestyle amenities include 24-hour concierge service, tableside fine dining, state-of-the-art wellness and activities programs, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, and a professional staff trained to deliver extraordinary service and care.
MatureWell Lifestyle Center
From your observation tower viewpoint, the CHI St. Joseph MatureWell Lifestyle Center is on the east side of the ATLAS development, easily within walking distance of Parc Traditions and Lake Walk town center. A health and wellness center devoted to seniors, the CHI St. Joseph Health MatureWell Lifestyle Center opened in March and offers seniors a comprehensive location where they can achieve health and wellness goals, manage illnesses and treatments through the help of a specialized physician, and take advantage of social and educational opportunities designed exclusively for them.
The Center includes:
Through the partnership with Texas A&M Health Science Center, the MatureWell Lifestyle Center will also provide a forum for research to improve and advance unique healthcare techniques for our older population. These efforts will utilize a team approach through interdisciplinary experiences at Texas A&M.
“When we began thinking about MatureWell, it started with the fact that the Brazos Valley is forecasted to grow significantly in the 55 and older age category,” says Donovan French, vice president for Strategy and Business Development, CHI St. Joseph Health. “This group of adults is growing five times faster than all others combined, so the unique concept of the MatureWell Lifestyle Center will radically change the way older adults can achieve their wellness and lifestyle goals, as well as managing their everyday health.”
At the heart of the ATLAS corporate campus is Lake Walk and the 5-acre ATLAS Lake. The lake is designed to accommodate everything from paddle boarding to the swimming portions of triathlon competitions to evenings of “just sitting on the boardwalk.” Developers anticipate visitors who want to climb the observation tower and just take in the view. A pavilion is ready to offer live music or other recreational pursuits. The Lake Walk town center spreads out to include walking trails and more.
Located steps from The Stella hotel is P.O.V., a café providing coffee from San Antonio’s Merit Roasting Co., with several small batched blends roasted just for The Stella, along with light fare, draft beers and wine. Future plans for Lake Walk’s other tenants encompass ideas from a grocery market to yoga, fitness and spa centers, and additional restaurants.
With an emphasis on wellness and an appreciation of a healthy lifestyle, developers are promoting Lake Walk as the perfect place to begin and end a day. By incorporating the “A-Trail” – a linear trail system of more than two miles of parks, trails, ponds, Lake ATLAS, and wellness amenities, developers envision the town center as a hub of activities in B/CS.