SearStone Receives Licensure, Welcomes First Residents
Local Architect’s Dream Becomes Reality
CARY, N.C., Oct. 30, 2013 – For more than a decade, architect Bill Sears dreamed of developing a vibrant retirement community on the site of the family farm in Cary where he grew up. It would be a place where his parents, and eventually he and his wife, could retire. His dream is now a reality.
On Monday, Oct. 28, the North Carolina Department of Insurance issued a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) license to SearStone (named after the Stone and Sears families). The community, owned by the nonprofit Samaritan Housing Foundation, will welcome its first residents on Nov. 1.
Among the first to move in will be John and Maggie Belle Sears (Bill’s parents), Al and Greta Port, and Alex and Marilyn Knittel. After moving to a nearby house several years ago, John and Maggie Belle will be returning to the land that has been in her family for eight generations and served as a working farm into the 20th century.
In 1941, Maggie Belle Stone married John Sears, and the couple cultivated their joint heritage on the land, raising five children. Both the Stone and Sears families were historically generous with the property, always ready to portion off a parcel for a family member or give easements or outright ownership to the Town of Cary to help improve roadways, public utilities and commerce. Son Bill Sears decided to develop the remaining 75 acres into an active and aesthetically pleasing CCRC that would benefit the entire community.
“I got a little emotional last year during our groundbreaking ceremony because I know what SearStone means to me and my family, and I know what we went through to get there,” said Bill Sears. “Today, I am overjoyed and extremely grateful to our depositors who recognized our vision and stuck with us.”
SearStone is the first CCRC in North Carolina to receive licensure since 2008. Upon completion, the community will employ more than 300 and offer such amenities as a clubhouse, swimming pool, fitness center, dining services, in-home and inpatient health care, transportation, walking trails, conservatory, programmed activities, and much more.
“We are the first retirement community in Cary built around the concept of new urbanism, which incorporates walkability, different home styles, and public spaces that promote interaction,” said Christopher Romick, SearStone’s executive director. “Our staff is looking forward to welcoming the residents who will now get to enjoy all those features.”
SearStone is nearing 90 percent in pre-sales, with fewer than 19 homes remaining. A variety of home sites and styles are still available but are moving fast.