In this edition of the Birchez Newsletter you will find news stories about our latest initiatives such as the opening of our Craft Studio at Esopus, the final planning stages of Birches at Fishkill, highlights from our communities, profiles of our associates and residents, as well as much more!
Posts Tagged ‘Birchez Associates’
Ruth Rosu loves to paint. She’s been interested in painting all her life – from the time she was a very young girl to her golden years. But, it was only about 15 years ago that she really started enjoying her hobby.
More than five years ago, she was living in Daytona Beach, Fla., taking care of a friend who had had a stroke. She had painted while staying with him to keep him company. It was a way to pass the time together, she said. When he passed, Rosu wanted to be closer to her two daughters, who live in Saugerties and Stone Ridge. So, she moved back to Ulster County.
With a desire to paint landscapes, she discovered that she wanted to live on a property with more scenery. She was inspired by the Hudson River views and landscapes, making Birchez communities the perfect home. “I wanted to have that magnificent view,” she said.
Today, Ruth lives at Chambers Court – where her cottage overlooks the woods. Those woods are often the subject of her paintings. “I love the trees. I love to paint them.”
Why did she move to a Birchez property? “I think it’s the way seniors should be living,” she said.
Specifically, she likes that Birchez offers her a community of senior citizens who she can talk with, relate to and socialize, housing that is built with seniors’ safety in mind and are beautiful inside and outside, and activities such as craft club, garden club, movie club, social club, book club and Bible study.
Now that Ruth has friends at all Birchez locations, she visits each community regularly. For example, she goes to The Birches at Esopus each Thursday to visit their crafts studio and gallery as part of the Busy Bees Crafters group and on Monday afternoons you can find her in the crafts studio at Chambers.
She has primarily painted in oils and has done some watercolors. She even volunteered to design and paint a tugboat for the Tugboat Trail Festival. The tugboat was designed to reflect the style and look of The Birches at Esopus community. The tugboats were featured in a Memorial Day Parade and later auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charity. The tugboat is now on display at the gallery in Birches at Esopus. Now, she is experimenting more with craft painting, painting boxes and trying different techniques. “I must be getting brave in my old age,” she laughed.
At the age of 90, Alice Tipp has been fully engaged as the senior advocate for Birchez Associates for eight years already and she loves what she does.
She’s had a lifetime of public service, having given 30 years as an Ulster County legislator and 22 years as a member of Kiwanis Saugerties as well as a board member for the Office for the Aging Advisory Council, Kingston Hospital and Coats for Kids, among others. When she started working for the County Legislature in 1975, she was the first woman elected to that office. She served on various committees through the years, such as Youth, Veteran and Aging, Seniors, Finance and Mental Health committees, that would prove to be an excellent education for her in later life.
At the ribbon cutting for The Birches at Saugerties eight years ago, she and Birchez Founder Steve Aaron struck up a conversation and Aaron asked Alice if she would accept a newly created position and she enthusiastically agreed.
“I do this because I want to help people,” she said. “They want to know what services are available to them. Birchez welcomes all of its residents to ask questions and I enjoy the chance to interact with everyone.”
It’s tough to find Alice in her office at The Birches at Saugerties; she is mostly “out and about” visiting with residents of that community or the others she is responsible for – The Birches at Esopus, The Birches at Chambers, Chambers Court and The Birches at Saugerties.
“When I am in my office, though, people come in, sit and talk about whatever they need and they feel so great.”
She matches resources to the needs of the residents in the Birchez communities she services. Alice provides connections for residents in need of things like cleaning services, legal services, Medicare/Medicaid counseling, nutrition education and meal delivery. She is also the Ulster County Area Transit paratransit liaison.
After an unfortunate car accident, Alice recovered at home but returned to Birchez communities on November 11. Against her doctor’s orders, she left the house to be with her friends. Alice arrived at her “Welcome Back Alice” party with a smile and there were even some happy tears. The party was held in place of the weekly social event called “Alice’s Tea,” where residents visit with her, learn about nutrition and bring baked goods to share.
“Thank God for Steve and Judy Aaron for providing affordable housing to the community,” Alice said. “It’s a wonderful, high-class, affordable living environment.”
Birchez Associates Continues to Strive for Excellence with Opening of New Resident Craft Studio and GalleryWednesday, October 9th, 2013
Going far beyond what’s required for affordable housing communities, Birchez Associates is known for its strong commitment to the properties it develops, often adding a number of unique amenities that make residents truly feel special.
In August, the company demonstrated this commitment once more with the grand opening of a craft studio at the Birches at Esopus, an award-winning senior living community in Esopus. The studio, dontated by Birchez founders Steven and Judy Aaron, offers a central place for residents to explore their creativity, as well as an opportunity for a club called “The Busy Bee Crafters” to display its wares onsite to support additional projects and local causes.
“Being a part of the club and sharing our talents with the community gives us a sense of purpose,” said Marie Shultis, a founding member of the Crafters. “Steve and Judy [Aaron] have provided us with a gift. Everything they do for their properties has created a way of life.”
While impressive, the craft studio at the Birches at Esopus is just one example of the company going above and beyond the norm at its properties.
Founded in 2002, Birchez Associates strives to find solutions to the shortage of housing for those who need it most in the Hudson Valley. Its team prides itself on offering high-quality, affordable housing to senior citizens, veterans, and workforce families. The company currently manages five properties throughout the region, and it continues to add value to communities long after they open.
Ever since Birchez Associates launched, the Aarons have emphasized this commitment to excellence, providing a greater overall quality of life for residents. To make this happen, the company adds amenities usually reserved for high-end, gated community-style retirement living, while maintaining the affordability of its units.
In taking this approach, Birchez provide residents with amenities that they would enjoy in their own home. The newly opened craft studio, for example, creates a better sense of community at the Birches at Esopus, serving as a welcoming space that encourages seniors to step out of their apartments and into a more social setting. The property also features a community club area, movie theater, bocce ball court, fitness center, library and game room, where residents can gather and socialize throughout the day.
Birchez has been praised throughout the Hudson Valley for their commitment to excellence at each of their affordable housing properties. In addition to a number of amenities, the company’s properties provide aging-in-place opportunities and feature a wide range of green initiatives. As a result of its efforts, hundreds of seniors in our local communities have been able to enjoy more fulfilling, interactive lives.
“Long after the Birches at Esopus project completion, Steve and Judy continue to demonstrate their love and commitment to the seniors in our community,” said Esopus Town Supervisor John Coutant.
Birchez Associates manages affordable housing properties in Kingston, Saugerties, Ulster and Esopus.
More than 400 senior citizens packed the dance floor at the Dutchess County Division of Aging Services’ 17th annual “Dutchess County Senior Prom”.
This fun filled senior event was held on October 15th at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls. The prom featured a Black & White theme, live music from the Bob Martinson Band, lunch and dancing, as well as prizes and cakes donated by local businesses. (more…)
Senior affordable housing is a major benefit to retirees living on fixed incomes, but the public-private partnerships required to sustain such housing often bring about vigorous discussions over property taxes, specifically payments-in-lieu-of-taxes. In this Point of View, Steve Aaron sets out the steps that led to Birchez’ request to amend the original PILOT agreement.
The following article appears in the Saugerties Times, Oct. 16, 2012. (Reprinted with permission)
Point of View: Agreement will keep Birches at Saugerties rents down
A lot has been said recently about The Birches at Saugerties’ amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement [PILOT]. The issue can be easily misunderstood. I’d like to walk you through it to put the matter in perspective. First, The Birches at Saugerties exists to meet the affordable-housing needs of an important segment of our local residents — seniors on fixed incomes.
Ask anyone who lives in this or any other Birchez community and you’ll immediately sense the pride and security they feel in having award-winning housing that’s clean, safe and affordable in their home community.
Second, it’s vital to these residents and to the entire town of Saugerties that we keep the rents affordable. (more…)
From Low-Cost to Luxury, Retirement Living Has Never Looked Better
By Lynn Woods for Generation Monthly September 2012
Once, retirement meant moving to warmer climates and trading in work for rounds of golf, often until frailty and advanced age led to a nursing home. Today, for many, that option has become passé. They made 40 the new 30, they caused a new-paradigm-spawning social revolution, and now baby boomers are retiring differently from their parents.
They don’t want to be so far from their kids. And there’s the weather: global warming is linked to the droughts that are devastating a large part of the Sunbelt. Some are not retiring at all, instead moving on to new careers. Plus, simple economic necessity is causing many seniors to stay put. All of these factors are increasing the Hudson Valley’s geographical appeal. (more…)
The Birches at Fishkill is the latest concept from Bichez Associates, an award-winning developer of affordable housing in the Hudson Valley. The plan calls for 72 elegant affordable senior-housing apartments situated on the beautiful Elant at Fishkill nursing home campus.
The Birches at Fishkill is dedicated to the concept of an enriched community lifestyle, enabling people to age in place with dignity and, when needed, providing the comfort of first-class medical resources from the staff of the adjacent Elant, one of the most respected providers of healthcare services in the region.
At the Ulster-Greene ARC 2012 Roy A. Gonyea Jr., Fall Golf Classic Tournament
While a beautiful day of golf on Kingston’s Wiltwyck Golf Club doesn’t sound like a day of work, for the Ulster-Greene ARC Foundation, Birchez Associates and other corporate sponsors and golfers, The 2012 Roy A. Gonyea Jr., Fall Golf Classic Tournament on Monday, September 10, 2012 offered the opportunity to come together in the spirit of community and to support an important cause.
Steve Aaron, founder and managing partner of Birchez Associates, along with several staff members and Birchez’ four foursomes pictured below, were part of the day’s events. Ulster-Greene ARC will be a partner agency with Birchez in The Birches at Cooperage, an affordable senior community that Birchez plans to construct in Kingston.
IMAGE LEFT: Ulster Greene ARC’s Executive Director, Laurie A. Kelley (left) and Board of Director’s President Todd McNutt (right) with Birchez Associates Founder and Managing Partner Steven Aaron.