It started with a dream and a fire. Christian Zimmerman dreamed of creating a community where active seniors could live independently with the support of good neighbors. He envisioned a cohousing community of condominium units with universal design and aging-in-place features which would encourage interactions and engagement between neighbors that would be beneficial to the health of seniors.
One evening Chris and his architect brother witnessed a fire across the Oakland estuary from one of his nursing facilities in Alameda. The flames rose and formed the shape of a phoenix, sparking the genesis of the development of Phoenix Commons.
Our community grew slowly. During that time we attended countless meetings to develop the structure and vision for our future lives together in a home that was not yet built. We learned as we built our community through discussions, dialogues, disagreements, and finally coming to agreements through the use of consensus decision-making. We grew closer as we worked on each new task and through personal and group challenges. We learned from each other. We learned about ourselves.
Move-in date was March 2016. Having established a strong foundation, we continue to grow as a community and as individuals from our ongoing efforts. Our community offers the opportunity for us to live independently as we grow older and perhaps wiser with the support of excellent neighbors and friends.
Phoenix Commons was developed by Elder Village Development, the development arm of AEC Living. With over forty years of experience in the senior care industry, they have successfully built and operated some of the most innovative and well regarded skilled nursing and assisted living communities in the East Bay. These include Waters Edge Nursing Home, The Lodge, and Elders Inn.
Their extensive experience in meeting the unique and changing needs of older adults has provided them with great insight into the value of community for supporting an independent, active, and purposeful life throughout this stage of life. With this understanding they were inspired to develop a cohousing community, a new model of community living for active adults.