RiverWoods Durham sells out in six weeks

Achievement smashes usual sales record for retirement communities

By NHBR Staff
Published March 14, 2018



In just six weeks, 100 percent of the homes being built at the new continuing care retirement community RiverWoods Durham have been pre-sold, its parent company has announced.

RiverWoods Durham is an affiliate of the nonprofit The RiverWoods Group, which also owns RiverWoods Exeter and Birch Hill in Manchester.

Typical sales for similar new continuing care communities average 12 per month, said Keith Robertson, managing director at Ziegler, a privately held investment bank, said. “In my 22 years working with CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities), I have never witnessed such high demand for a community. Reaching 100 percent pre-sales in six weeks is something I’ve never seen. Everything about this project is exciting and it’s thrilling to be a part of it.

Similarly, John Spooner, co-CEO of Greystone, a developer and consultant on CCRCs, said the sales milestone was “a remarkable accomplishment to reach 100 percent presales in just six weeks.”

Groundbreaking for RiverWoods Durham is expected this summer, with construction scheduled for completion in early 2020. The project will include 150 independent living homes with a 72-unit attached health center that provides assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care.

This article appears in the March 30 2018 issue of New Hampshire Business Review.

Birch Hill Appoints Linda Phypers, Executive Director

New leadership role created to support Birch Hill CCRC’s ongoing vibrancy and growth

Manchester, NH, January 31, 2018 – Birch Hill Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Manchester, NH is pleased to announce that Linda Phypers has been selected as the new Executive Director. Her role will be to lead the community, which is currently in the process of a $9 million capital enhancement of Birch Hill’s physical property, including landscape, facilities, amenities and living spaces. The community, which is an affiliate of The RiverWoods Group, is the only CCRC in Manchester, and is focused on continued improvement and providing uncompromised quality services on a beautifully wooded campus just minutes from downtown Manchester.

Justine Vogel, CEO of The RiverWoods Group says, “Birch Hill is at the beginning of an exciting new era. We are reimagining the physical campus; it is being transformed. With a new Executive Director like Linda, the culture and energy of the community will be similarly transformed.”
Birch Hill is hosting a “Meet the new Executive Director” event on February 15, 2018. Click here for details and to RSVP.
Linda’s wealth of experience and passion for advancing the quality and vibrancy of CCRC communities will enable her to lead Birch Hill into the future. She has enjoyed over 35 years working in long-term care in a variety of roles from Nurse Educator, Director of Nursing, and Nursing Home Administrator of a freestanding skilled nursing facility, and most recently as Director of Health Services for a CCRC in Vermont. She also holds a degree in Healthcare Management from Champlain College. Read more

RiverWoods Group Announces New Community In Durham

Durham to be home to first RiverWoods community outside of Exeter

June 21, 2017, Durham, NH – The RiverWoods Group is pleased to announce the founding of RiverWoods Durham, the first RiverWoods community outside of Exeter.

Scheduled to open in late 2019 or early 2020, this charitable nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) will build upon RiverWoods’ long-standing reputation for providing award-winning senior living. The community will feature four levels of care: independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

Within a CCRC, residents move in when they are independent and able live safely on their own and then transition through the other levels of care as their needs change.

One of RiverWoods’ two founders, Maryanna Hatch, was a longtime resident of Durham. She raised her family there and her original desire was to build a senior living community in her hometown.

“The initial response to this idea has been overwhelming,” said RiverWoods Group President and CEO Justine Vogel. “It is clear that the concept that Maryanna Hatch created over 30 years ago resonates even more powerfully today. We are so happy that we are able to bring the RiverWoods way of life to Durham where it was originally conceived.”

Located on 11 wooded acres off of Route 108 on Stone Quarry Drive, RiverWoods Durham will feature 150 apartments, with one bedroom, one bedroom with den and two bedroom floor plans. A 72 bed health center will include assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. The memory care and skilled nursing areas will be set up in a small clusters within the building, creating a home like environment. This concept represents the latest thinking in health care design to create nurturing environments.

Landscape architect and Durham native Robbie Woodburn will bring her talent to the creation of the RiverWoods Durham campus which will feature extensive landscaping, walking trails and raised garden beds.

The RiverWoods Group has assembled an award-winning national team to work on this new development. It includes development partner Greystone, finance partner Ziegler, AG Architecture and general contractor LECESSE Construction, which built two of the last three RiverWoods Exeter communities.

RiverWoods Durham is currently proceeding through the local permitting process and hosting public events for prospective residents. The community is experiencing an unprecedented response to its Founders Club initiative, which provides prospective residents first option on apartments. The Founders Club is still open for a limited time.

For information or to attend an information session, visit RiverWoodsDurham.org.

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Birch Hill Terrace Announces Affiliation with The RiverWoods Group

Birch Hill to Begin $9 million Renovation and Improvement Plan

Cathleen Toomey

July 12, 2016, Manchester
Birch Hill Terrace, a non-profit charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with roots in Manchester that goback 125 years, announced an affiliation with The RiverWoods Group, a non-profit, charitable organization that is parent
company of RiverWoods Continuing Care Retirement Community ( CCRC), based in Exeter, New Hampshire.

TRWG_RW_BHT_LGV00341This announcement is the culmination of a two year process of discussion and deliberation between the two boards. The affiliation has received approval by the NH Department of Insurance, which governs CCRCs, as well as the NH Department of Charitable Trust, which must review and approve such proposals in the state.

“We are thrilled that our work together has culminated in this partnership,” said Gary Zabierek, President of Birch Hill Terrace. “This affiliation will bring fresh ideas and resources to the table. Next month we will start a major capital investment in our physical plant, which will transform the look of our apartment homes, and bring new energy to the community.”

Justine Vogel, CEO and President of The RiverWoods Group added, “Although we have not taken this step until now, Birch Hill and RiverWoods already share identical values and mission; we were both founded by grassroots community members interested in improving the lives of others. Together, we can provide peace of mind to more seniors in New Hampshire. As two charitable non-profit CCRCs we will both benefit from an affiliation.”

With approval in hand, improvements are the next step. Birch Hill is revealing their plans for a reimaged community, and will be investing $9 million in the next 24 months into the building. This will be the single largest capital investment in the company’s history. Read more

Birch Hill Terrace Affiliates With The RiverWoods Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 21, 2016, Manchester, New Hampshire – Today, Birch Hill Terrace, a non-profit charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with roots in Manchester that go back 125 years, announced that its board voted last week to affiliate with The RiverWoods Group, a parent company of RiverWoods Continuing Care Retirement Community ( CCRC), based in Exeter, New Hampshire.

“The time is right for this move,” said Gary Zabierek, President of Birch Hill Terrace. “We are facing an unprecedented wave of boomers getting ready for retirement, bringing an increased demand for contemporary enhancements. This affiliation brings resources and fresh ideas that will help position us to serve both our current residents as well as the next generation.”

Justine Vogel, CEO and President of RiverWoods added, “After much time and work together, we realized that Birch Hill and RiverWoods have very similar values and mission; our goal is to create community and peace of mind for seniors. As two charitable non-profit CCRCs we can benefit from an affiliation, and collaborate to bring this way of life to more people.”

The affiliation agreement was finalized on March 17, and will be reviewed by the New Hampshire Charitable Trust Director, as well the New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner.

With the affiliation will come a major capital investment in the Birch Hill Terrace campus, estimated at nearly $6 million over the next 24 months. The money will be used to reimagine the common spaces and apartment design. It is estimated that architectural renderings will be revealed by mid-May, in a series of marketing events to be held locally.

“This affiliation will enable us to transform our campus,” said Gary Zabierek. “ I can tell you that if you think you’ve seen Birch Hill, you owe it to yourself to take a second look.”

About Birch Hill

Birch Hill Terrace’s history dates back to 1875 with the founding of The Manchester Women’s Aid and Relief Society. Since then, the organization has continually evolved to meet the needs of the Manchester community. The Women’s Aid Home, known as Pearl Manor was established in 1891, and in 1991 a new campus, Hillcrest Terrace, was created to serve a growing number of independent seniors in the greater Manchester area. In 2009, the organization became a CCRC Continuing Care Retirement

About CCRCs

Nationally, there are close to 2000 Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and the concept has been around for more than 100 years. The majority of CCRCs are non-profit, and many are organized within systems. There are a handful of CCRCs in northern New England, and interest and education about this concept has been rapidly increasing among retirees. CCRCs welcome people 62 years or older, to enter as independent residents. Once there, residents can enjoy a variety of amenities (housekeeping, laundry service, dining, inside and outside maintenance, programs and exercise classes), while making friends. As they age, if a resident needs a higher level of care, it is available to them within the same campus. Depending on the CCRC contract type, this is generally at a reduced cost. Additionally, often a resident can get a refund on their initial entrance fee, when they pass away or move.

For a primer on CCRCs, download the Insider’s Guide to CCRCs at http://www.riverwoodsrc.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/CCRC_101_Workbook_Copyright_RiverWoods_2013.pdf

Cathleen Toomey


Brain Power: New Research and Strategies to Strengthen Your Mind


Brain Power: New Research and Strategies to Strengthen Your Mind

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Learn How to Improve Your Cognitive Health

We know that many people experience subtle cognitive changes as they age, but is there any way to maintain or even improve skills such as memory and concentration? While there is no “fountain of youth,” certain lifestyle activities can increase your cognitive health and quality of life. This dynamic, expert presentation will review brain changes that occur during the aging process, discuss the positive impact of physical, social, and intellectual activity, and provide practical tools and techniques that you can use to maximize your cognitive health.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Morning Session: (including lunch)
10:30 am – 1:00 pm (The 10:30 am session is now FULL)

Afternoon Session: (including light refreshments)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm(The 10:30 am session is now FULL)


The Woods campus, RiverWoods
7 RiverWoods Drive, Exeter, NH 03833
(click for directions)


Seating is limited. Reserve your seat by calling 603-658-3014 or by email .