Eastern expansion

A New Assisted Living Facility Breaks Ground in East Sarasota

It's part of Sarasota Suncoast Community Church’s growing empire.

By Kim Doleatto October 20, 2022

A rendering of 81 Oaks.

A rendering of 81 Oaks.

On a large parcel of land east of I-75, toward south county, Sarasota Suncoast Community Church owns a church of the same name, the Suncoast Academy charter school and an auditorium.  Now, it’s breaking ground on its first foray into assisted living.

Located at 7850 Hawkins Road, the new, two-story project, called 81 Oaks, will sit on the church's dozens of acres. Led by pastor and entrepreneur Dr. Larry Baucom, the church bought the land for $2 million in 2019; the land adjacent to it, on either side, was purchased in 2003 for $1.8 million. Altogether, the church now owns a generous slice of the fringe rural land in the area, totaling just over 81 acres. It's a measurement that inspired the name of the new facility.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Baucom, 66, created and launched Sarasota Suncoast Community Church in 1998, a 17,000 square foot, non-denominational house of worship that seats 1,000, where “services are a cross between a rock concert and a Ted Talk. It's not the church your grandmother grew up with,” he says.

Case in point: the church stage is flanked by two 16 by 9-foot projection screens on either side. The building also includes two multipurpose rooms and 18 classrooms that are used for Sunday school and youth activities, making up more than 50,000 square feet–similar to the size of a football field. It doubled as a shelter during Hurricane Ian.

Unaffected by the recent Category 4 storm, construction is on schedule for Phase One of 81 Oaks, a 98-unit assisted living and memory care community slated to open next year. Phase Two will feature 41 independent living apartments and 57 villas and cottages for aging in place. Phase Three will add 58 independent living units. The project will cost approximately $33 million.

A rendering of the exterior of 81 Oaks.

A rendering of the exterior of 81 Oaks.

Baucom, 66, says he sees it as an intergenerational community “where children from the school go on field trips, and able seniors can volunteer with the kids. "We want the church, the school and the senior living community to be in a symbiotic relationship."

“We see the intergenerational model growing in Sarasota and 81 Oaks will be part of the larger community that is already existing around it,” says Lisa Jones, the director of account services with Solvere Living, the national operator of senior living communities based in St. Petersburg that will manage the facility.

The campus will feature a lake, wooded areas, walking trails, secure courtyards and a gazebo.

Inside, there will be a movie theater, spa and fitness center with exercise and therapeutic equipment. Other amenities will include a bistro, a private dining room with any-time restaurant-style dining, a bar, and multi-functional event rooms.

Assisted living prices vary based on the size and style of apartment, with various studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options, starting at $3,995 per month and multiple wellness package options starting at $500 based on tenant abilities. The units are for rent only.

The memory care neighborhood starts at $6,300 per month and includes 24-hour health and safety monitoring, personalized wellness programs, a concierge, around-the-clock security, an emergency response system in each apartment, weekly housekeeping, scheduled transportation, maintenance and repairs.

Wiseman Construction (owner John Wiseman is among the church's congregation), is handling the construction of the two-story community, which is designed by firm Lawson Group Architects.

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