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The HopeWell Independent Living Apartments may be brand new, but the excitement started growing about five years ago. That’s when Still Hopes Retirement Community in West Columbia, SC hosted focus groups and marketing gatherings to find out what residents said they wanted out of living spaces. Shortly after — and with only floor plans, renderings, and a whole lot of faith —  prospective residents soon began placing deposits to reserve their very own HopeWell apartment.

But Still Hopes needed to complete another, more pressing, construction project  —  the Jane Bruce Guignard Skilled Nursing building. While that was happening, the anticipation grew, and so did the HopeWell wait list. Through architectural revisions, then construction, and finally, a Certificate of Occupancy, on February 15, 2021, the first family’s moving van arrived.

“The staff here were so helpful and ready to do anything. They even greeted us with a nice tray of charcuterie,” said Kate Swanson. “so... not bad!” 

Kate and her husband, Hayes Mizell, were the first family to be moved in on the incoming resident list. Still Hopes staff plans to move in one family every day, six days a week, until the building is full. This meticulous process was planned so that each resident can receive full onboarding and support, to ensure they feel truly at home. There are 80 apartments to fill, and 70 apartments spoken for, so the process will continue well into May. Interested prospective residents of the HopeWell apartments can take a virtual walkthrough of each of the available floor plans, including the Trenholm, Gervais, and Devereaux apartments.

“We have received the most rewarding comments coming from folks upon seeing their home for the first time, many of whom are saying this is better than they expected,” said Stewart Rawson, Director of Sales and Marketing.

The new Hopewell Apartments, called the “WellPointe Project” during construction, lives up to its very name in design and implementation.

“The last line of the Still Hopes mission statement proclaims that we ‘promote health and wellness for everyone’,” said Rawson. “I believe the HopeWell building embodies what we have been teaching and advocating for many years.”  

Among the features are:

  • Close proximity to the state-of-the-art Marshall Shearouse Center for Wellness.
  • A wellness studio for group classes, yoga, tai chi and aerobics on HopeWell’s first floor.
  • Open floor plan apartments, with full floor-to-ceiling windows allowing the maximum amount of natural light to wash through each apartment.
  • A café on site featuring healthy, delicious and local cuisine.
  • Common outdoor spaces including a central courtyard with a fire pit, a fountain and a pergola to encourage outdoor gatherings.
  • Under building parking, convenient for residents year-round, but especially during Columbia’s hot summer months.

The building itself has 10-foot ceilings in both the apartments and indoor common areas, with wide hallways and apartments recessed and spaced out to give it a more dimensional feel.

“Even the HVAC system is state of the art, providing the highest efficiency and highest level possible of clean, filtered air,” said Rawson. “The Leadership Team and Board of Trustees literally have thought of everything.” 

Kate and Hayes love their new HopeWell apartment and say it already feels like home. They were quick to point out all of their favorite features of their new apartment including a spacious kitchen, their “just the right size” living room, the floor-to-ceiling windows and the beautiful finishes.

But the best “amenities” at Still Hopes are the staff and the other residents. Kate and Hayes have had an opportunity to meet other HopeWell incoming residents over the last couple years, through social events and informational meetings. But the current Still Hopes residents and staff have also been extremely welcoming.

“People have been very gracious about introducing themselves,” said Hayes.

When asked what he is most looking forward to, Hayes, who has been the primary cook of the two, says he’s eager to pass off his apron to Still Hopes’ talented culinary staff.

“It’s delightful. I don’t have to make decisions about what to buy for a meal, or worry about preparing it,” he said.

And since all residents, including incoming HopeWell residents, have already been offered a Covid vaccine at one of the onsite clinics, Kate and Hayes say they are also excited to take advantage of all of the amenities and social opportunities that are starting back up at Still Hopes.

“I think Hayes and I are looking forward to becoming a part of this community,” said Kate. “The offerings are very interesting and intriguing.”

For more information on the HopeWell building or to reserve one of the last apartments available, contact Rawson and the Still Hopes marketing team at 803-739-5040 or submit our contact form.