Biltmore area retirement center to close

The news came during a meeting for residents at the Arizona Grand Retirement Community.

"I was surprised, but then it was devastating to have them do something like this to a bunch of seniors who enjoyed where they lived," said Jules Fox.

140 seniors live at the Arizona Grand Retirement Center located just south of the Biltmore area in Phoenix.

It's a 5-star rated facility with four levels of care for seniors. They have until the end of February to find new places to live.

At 77, Tom Kane says he's already found a place he will likely move to. 

"I'm an old paratrooper, we're used to things happening. You'll adjust no matter where you land, no matter where that's the way we are," said Tom Kane.

Arizona Grand's director explains that the Eastern Star non-profit sold the building to an investor. Kim Te Brugge said everyone concluded that the Arizona Grand which was built in 1975 needed upgrades that were so expensive it wasn't practical to do. Some residents speculate that the land south of the Biltmore skyrocketed in value and demanded higher-end business.

"This is going to be a 10-12 story building, you come back here in two years, I guarantee," said one resident.

Te Brugge said their main focus now is to find new accommodations for residents. She said that more than 1/3 of residents have already found a new place to live.

Jules Fox and his wife of 68-years Better know where they're going.

"It's not the end of the world for us, we're gonad keep going, we're going to keep smiling, and do what we have to do," said Jules.

That sentiment was echoed by paratrooper Kane who said he's moving on in a lot of ways.

"I'm looking for another chiquita you know, I've been married six times, yeah I lost them to illness... they got sick of me!," joked Kane.

The director of the facility said when they first announced the closure the residents were most worried about the 100 or so staff that work at the center.

The company has brought in other retirement centers to come in and start interviewing staff for other positions.
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