Tellico Village residents and loved ones now have another retirement option with the recent opening of a new independent living facility.

Premier Residences at Tellico Village, in a partnership with Five Star Senior Living and The Neighborhood at Tellico Village, is an 84-unit, three-story luxury apartment building that offers nine floor plans and various amenities.

There are 64 rooms still available for lease.

“We have 20 folks living in the building,” Marti Hands, The Neighborhood director of community relations, said. “We have a lot of wait list deposits. I guess the rumor I want to straighten out is because I have so many wait list deposits, when people know you have a wait list, people think you’re full, but we’re far from full. I still have 64 apartments for lease, but I do have people on the wait list because we did an incentive on the wait list. If you made your deposit of $1,500 by (Sept. 30), you pay that amount, not $3,500, which is what starts on (Oct. 1).”

Since opening its doors 17 years ago, The Neighborhood has been one of the highest-demanded assisted living facilities in East Tennessee.

Even with an expansion to the building, officials felt the need to add a new independent living facility.

“We started kind of inquiring in the Village if they were interested in independent living about four and a half, five years ago,” Angela Smith, The Neighborhood executive director, said. “Our assisted living community, it stays full. It usually has a pretty long wait list, so we went ahead and did an expansion with the assisted living, and we immediately filled up. A lot of the residents that are currently living in the assisted living are pretty independent, so instead of building onto The Neighborhood again, we went ahead and decided to cater to the ones that don’t really want to live at home but don’t really need assisted living.”

Construction is still underway in certain areas of the property, including complimentary car ports and parking spaces.

“We are just finishing up our garages,” Hands said. “So garages and carports are an option but, in general, the building is all inclusive, meaning everything is included ... including all their utilities. There is a full-scale meal plan. There’s activities, property owners meetings — everything is bundled in. Most of the apartments have balconies and, obviously, the top floor is the No. 1 selling area.”

Premier Residences at Tellico Village is not exclusive to Villagers, but Hands said most current occupants are already familiar with the Village in some way.

“So far, everyone that’s moved in the building does have some type of Tellico connection,” she said. “Either they’re staying because they already lived in Tellico, or their kids lived in Tellico and they moved down to be closer, but they didn’t need assisted living.”

Each room is equipped with a washer-dryer unit and full-size kitchen appliances. Other amenities include a movie theater, outside gazebo, hot tub, 24-hour concierge service and a bistro lounge.

“They range from 450 square feet to 1,152 (square feet),” Hands said. “Obviously, you’ve got a dining room, living room, a really large bedroom. All the rooms have very nice walk-in closets, so people that coming from larger Tellico Village homes are not quite so traumatized by downsizing.”

Residents can also receive on-site physical therapy through Ageility Physical Therapy Solutions.

“Five Star partnered with Ageility, I want to say about two years ago,” Smith said. “Several of the assisted and independent living communities have the Ageility services in-house. They actually do physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, and they also do personal training. Instead of someone of age going in and trying to figure out how to use a machine, Ageility can do personal training for a week or so and teach them what they need to with each piece of equipment. A lot of communities offer the equipment, but very communities offer training for the equipment.”

Smith believes Premier Residences at Tellico Village will be a valuable asset for years to come.

“I think it’s going to fill up, it’s going to stay full,” she said. “I think that allows our folks that live in the Village to actually stay in the Village a whole lot longer, if not permanently.”

A grand opening will be 5-8 p.m. Oct. 24 at 150 Chatuga Drive West, Loudon. For more information, call 865-456-4167 or visit online at www.theneighbor