Popular Village

As groundbreaking took place, interest grows for Farragut’s newest senior living community

Before The Villages of Farragut senior living community even broke ground, individuals already have asked about signing up for residency.

Gary Keckley, CEO of GoodWorks Unlimited LLC., told attendees at the senior living development’s groundbreaking in front of the farragutpress office off Kingston Pike Tuesday, June 20, that he already was receiving such requests.

GoodWorks Unlimited LLC., a leading developer and manager of senior living communities, and Merit Construction Inc., Knoxville contractors, are building The Villages of Farragut, an 88-unit concierge senior neighborhood located at Kingston Pike and Smith and Boring roads.

Keckley has done 62 such senior living communities.

“I’ve done 62 [senior living communities],” he said. “This is the only town I’ve ever worked in where prospective residents came to the planning commission meeting to meet me and get their name on our list.

“This morning, we’re putting up this job sign and a guy drove up, walked over to it and wrote the phone number down and called Hailey [Anderson, director of communications with GoodWorks Unlimited, LLC.,] this afternoon,” Keckley said June 20. “That’s the kind of presence that this has in Farragut.”

“Obviously, we’re glad you’re here,” Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said. “This is a concept a little different and one I think this community will really take to.

“I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting some senior citizens in this facility. In fact, my wife and I have talked many times about downsizing,” McGill said.

“We put a lot of resources in Knox County into our seniors, and we can’t do it all alone and this is just another example of some good people doing some good things,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said.

He thanked the town of Farragut and McGill for “all your good work.”

“This is a symbolic day,” Keckley said. “It’s a very important day.” He acknowledged Doug Horne, the property owner, president of Horne Properties and owner of Republic Newspapers, parent company of farragutpress.

“Doug Horne, didn’t have to sell this [property],” Keckley said. This has been in the family for a long time. He could have done a lot of other things — he tried to build apartments on it, but he could have done a lot of other things with it, too.

“Doug did OK selling the property, but that’s not all of his motivation,” Keckley said. “I want everybody to know, as I’ve dealt with Doug, I’ve come to realize he saw this [project] as something that was good for Farragut and he was very flexible and made that happen and he deserves credit for that.

Keckley also thanked John Baker, Horne Properties director of engineering and construction, for attending meetings on behalf of Horne Properties Inc., Annette C. Hommel, civil engineer with Sites Inc., Merit Construction Inc. and Pinnacle Financial Services for its involvement in the project.

“There are several Pinnacle Bank members here — particularly Ken Warren [Pinnacle senior vice president] — who helped work through the finances of this and made this possible in some pretty unique ways,” Keckley said.

“This is, in fact, our seventh project with Pinnacle, and I think that says something about that bank’s commitment to us. And, it is a negative interest rate,” he added.

“We are very pleased and excited to be here for this occasion today,” said Mike DiStefano, Knoxville president of Pinnacle Financial Partners. “Pinnacle [Financial] has worked with Gary for a number of years on a number of projects and worked very well together.

“We have really found through the years in working with them that we share the same values — integrity, partnership and commitment. I would like to say congratulations. We are excited to be a small part of this and we look forward to seeing completion.”

Keckley also praised town of Farragut staff for its partnership in creating a new zoning district for senior living.

“This has been a real partnership,” he said. “We literally rewrote the zoning ordinance to make this project possible and they did it with such class and professionalism and my hat’s off to the staff.”

Keckley said the name of

his business, GoodWorks Unlimited, LLC., was inspired by Ephesians 2:10.

“That scripture says, ‘By God’s grace, we are called to do good works that He prepared in advance for us to do,’” he quoted. ““We’re here because we believe in faith.

“If you, in faith, believe that then this is a good work, and today you are all part of this,” Keckley said. “The thing we say inside our operation is our core business isn’t food service, it’s not medication management, it’s not personal care, it is love.

“It’s unapologetic, sacrificial love. That’s what we all want for our moms and dads, and some- day — maybe sooner or later — we will want that for ourselves. So that’s what The Villages of Farragut will try to be.

“We’re standing here at that sacred cedar tree,” Keckley said. The road is curving around us. This is an erosion control barrier they are cutting in and that proves to everybody that the cedar tree is outside of the erosion strip. The cedar tree doesn’t get touched.

“So the road curves around the cedar tree and heads up to a retention/detention facility with fountains in it so that when UT scores, they go off,” he said.

“Up to the front of the main door — and this is a rendering of it [he indicated a print of the rendering he held] — a three-story facility with a two-story kind of entrance image so it keeps that residential quality. This part of the building is what we’re building in the first phase. Later on, we’ll build all of this — memory care, assisted living and other services. And, then, 66 catered living villas,” Keckley said.