The Delaney at Lake Waco, a $40 million senior living community built near the Twin Bridges on West State Highway 6, will host a grand opening Thursday evening to showcase the upscale development.

Formal ceremonies will last from 5 to 7 p.m., and guests reportedly will include Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver and representatives of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and Life Care Services, which will manage the community. The site includes 80 private apartments for people who can live independently, a 59-residence Hamlets at The Delaney for people who need assistance, and 32 studio suites for residents with memory issues.

Iowa-based LCS Development, which owns Life Care Services, started clearing 13 acres near Lake Waco for The Delaney in the spring of last year.

So far, 58 people have signed “priority agreements” that allow them to choose an independent-living unit, spokeswoman Carolyn Knight said.

“A total of 17 already have moved in, and we’re expecting a total of 18 more during the month of October,” Knight said. “These will be the first in the community to receive our special pricing.”

She declined to give rates, saying LCS prefers to schedule appointments with potential residents before quoting prices. She said The Delaney offers assistance with moving and may provide specials that include a free month of residency.

“All of our residents so far have chosen independent living because we needed to pass a state inspection before opening the assisted living and memory areas,” Knight said. “We now have passed those tests.”

The four-story complex offers amenities including a theater, library, exercise and wellness room, a large dining room and extensive landscaping that will create a courtyard, Knight said.

LCS has launched other Delaney-branded senior properties in the Texas communities of Katy, League City and Georgetown.

“Warmer climates tend to attract retirees and those over the age of 55, and they represent the people we strive to serve,” Knight said.

White Construction in Austin served as general contractor for the project, and PRDG Architectural Solutions of Dallas designed the community.

LCS now has a presence in more than 40 states, according to its website, which touts the proximity of The Delaney at Lake Waco to Providence Health Center. It lists local attractions that include the Dr Pepper Museum, Downtown Farmers Market, Central Texas Marketplace, Richland Mall, Baylor University and Cameron Park Zoo.

Like many communities, Waco has an aging population of baby boomers who need services provided by senior-centric developments, Metropolitan Planning Organization director Chris Evilia said.

“But we also are home to Baylor University, TSTC and McLennan Community College, which gives us more balance than might be found in some cities,” Evilia said.

He said the growing number of senior-living developments taking shape locally reflects a trend being experienced across the country.

Seniorhousingnet.com lists more than 35 senior, assisted-living and memory-care facilities in Greater Waco.

Waco has placed itself in an enviable position to accommodate the arrival of the new retirement center, said Kris Collins, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.

Most assisted living settings make heavy use of certified nursing assistants, “and we have a pipeline to meet that need,” specifically through the nursing program at McLennan Community College and through Waco Independent School District’s Greater Waco Advanced Health Care Academy, Collins said.

Besides The Delaney at Lake Waco, other senior centers arriving locally include the Heartis Waco Assisted Living & Memory Care Community on Speegleville Road, a $20 million complex near the Villages at Twin Rivers subdivision and the Twin Rivers Golf Club.

Living Springs Village opened last year at 8601 Old McGregor Road to serve patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

And Dallas-based Emerald Waco Investments has created a retirement and assisted-living village next to Central Texas Marketplace.

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