Alaska's 2nd "55 and Over" Community may be built here

Posted: Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Dennis Smith and staff recently visited the Kenai Peninsula in search of a location for their second "55 and Over" Community.

Mountain Rose Estates near Palmer, is Alaska's first such community. Speaking to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week, Smith said, "People have been leaving Alaska in the past because they don't want to put up with the maintenance of homeownership here and they want to be free to take vacations without worrying about their homes. Our community meets that need. People now can leave Alaska and come back in six months and everything is just the way they left it."

Smith's company started two years ago to build a community of 66 houses in the Matanuska Valley anticipating a five-year project. According to Smith, by the end of this summer they will be nearly 85% sold out. Not be confused with an assisted living facility, the 55 and Over community is for active adults, "We have a lot of people that are 70 plus, but they are very active people who fish and hunt, and enjoy life. They are here a month and gone a month, they simply want to be free of home maintenance and snow shoveling," explained Smith.

Scouting the Kenai Peninsula Smith and his staff met with City officials and are actively looking for property suited to building a 55 and Over community in the Central Peninsula where city water and sewer would be available. If successful in securing a suitable location this summer, Smith said it would most likely late next summer before anything was far enough along to sell and would anticipate at least 12 to 15 pre-sales before construction got underway.

Smith believes that the Kenai area is one of the largest retirement communities in Alaska and that there will be a good market for the 55 and Over community. Prices for units at the Palmer community start at just under $160,000 for about 1,400 square feet of living space plus garage, and go up to a little more than 1,600 square feet of living space that start at $168,920. Details about the Mountain Rose Estates are available by calling (907) 746-1493, or e-mail to

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