High-rise for seniors to advance a new concept in intergenerational living, providing an upscale home that links the residents to the ASU community and lifelong learning
Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2018 here.
Arizona State University broke ground Wednesday on a complex that will advance a new concept in intergenerational living and lifelong learning.
Mirabella at ASU is a 20-story senior living facility at Mill Avenue and University Drive on the university’s Tempe campus. The building, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will include 252 independent-living apartments and 52 health-care units, as well as an indoor pool, theater, art museum, spa, dog park and four restaurants.
The project will link the university community to the residents, who will be able to take classes, have access to the library and be near cultural and sports events.
ASU President Michael Crow called it “the world’s coolest dorm” at the groundbreaking ceremony and said: “There’s no reason everyone can’t be a college student and engaged in what this community has to offer for the entirety of their lives.”
Lifelong learning in urban, upscale setting
Crow said that ASU is reconceptualizing lifelong learning.
“How do we create this exchange? We’re excited that we’ll have on our campus several hundred new learners, new teachers and new experts.
“I’m 62 years old, and in my 61st year, I learned more than in any other year of my life. If I don’t learn more in my 65th year, I’ll be sadly disappointed.”
No state funding is being used in the high-rise, which will be developed by private, nonprofit developers University Realty and Pacific Retirement Services on land owned and leased by ASU. The Arizona Board of Regents approved the development in 2016.
The project is next to the closed Chili’s restaurant, which eventually will be torn down and become the site of a hotel.
Features of Mirabella at ASU include:
• More than 50 floor plans, some of which are spacious enough to accommodate a baby grand piano. Apartments vary from about 900 square feet to 2,700 square feet, with one or two bedrooms. Each has a balcony and a contemporary kitchen with quartz countertops.
• Concrete and steel construction with double walls between the apartments and acoustical matting under the floors to minimize sound transfer.
• Floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto Camelback Mountain and Tempe Town Lake on the north side and the Superstition Mountains on the southeast.
• Environmentally friendly details, such as electric vehicle-charging stations, water-saving fixtures, photovoltaic panels and 50 percent construction waste reduction.
So far, more than 180 of the 252 apartment units have been sold, according to Paul Riepma, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Pacific Retirement Services, the Oregon-based company leading the development.