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Posted on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 8:55 a.m.

Cedars of Dexter provides upscale housing option for the active senior

By Ann Dwyer


A row of Craftsman-style cottages along one of the streets in Cedars of Dexter.

Steve Pepple |

“Senior housing” has become much more than nursing homes and apartment complexes. The Cedars of Dexter is one of the newest retirement communities geared toward the active senior that almost makes getting older something to look forward to.

For Martha Davis, the Cedars of Dexter retirement community -- with its colorful Craftsman-style cottages, community clubhouse and range of services that allow seniors to continue to live an independent lifestyle -- has been a perfect fit.

"It seemed like a very nice place to live, and my assessment was correct. It is a very nice place to live,” she said.

Davis has lived in the Cedars since last June with her rescued schnauzer Sadie. She says she was the second person to sign up for one of the colorful cottages clustered in the development off of Island Lake Road, next to Gordon Hall, just west of downtown Dexter.

With move-in prices starting at $122,900 and topping out at more than $300,000, plus monthly fees ranging from $2,250 to $2,850, the Cedars of Dexter is not for everybody. Instead, the managed development is aimed at upscale seniors looking to live in their own home while getting such a variety of support services, including daily meals at the clubhouse, housekeeping and all maintenance.


Steve Pepple |

The Cedars is meant to be “more like a neighborhood,” according to Cathy Gallagher, director of business development. This begins with the decision process.

Those running the Cedars realize it can be difficult for people to leave houses they may have spent decades in. The United Methodist Retirement Communities who run the Cedars and the Chelsea Retirement Community holds seminars on how to stage a home to sell and other such topics.

But Gallagher says that it’s the current residents who really help the perspective ones. “They’re a great resource,” she said. “They’re bonding on the same journey.”

The resident relationships are an important part of the Cedars experience. "The residents are a lot fun. There's always something going on," said Davis.

During one of this winter’s worst snowstorms, a couple of the residents called the others to arrange to deliver their dinners to their cottages, according to Gallagher.

They also make many of the group activity plans together, such as a Valentine’s Day trip to the Encore Theatre.

Ranging in size from 1,510 to 1,912 square feet, there will be 60 cottages when construction ends, sometime next fall, according to Gallagher. Peters Building Co. of Saline is doing the construction.

Each craftsman-style cottage comes with at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a fireplace, appliances and garage with a workshop/storage space. Upgrades such as stainless steel appliances and granite for the fireplace can be purchased, among other options.

In the clubhouse, a stonewall fountain sets an elegant tone. Open 24 hours, the clubhouse features a saltwater pool with resistance jets, sauna, fitness equipment, a restaurant and a room to entertain guests.

Residents are given $200 a month per person for meals. The money comes out of the monthly association fee, which ranges from $2,250 to $2,850, depending on single or double occupancy and cottage size.

Aware that Cedars residents have a lifetime of items to bring with them, closet space was a priority.

“They still have to downsize,” said Gallagher. But there are many storage options in even the smallest cottage with the option to put in more.

The floor plans are designed to be barrier free with 36-inch wide doorways to allow for wheelchairs and any other medical equipment that may be needed.

Amenities include weekly housekeeping, snow removal, maintenance and more.

Slideshow by Angela J. Cesere |

Those investing early are at an advantage as they get to make many of the design decisions for their cottage. Any structural changes that are made will not be able to be changed later. However, items such as carpet and paint can be changed for new residents.

Currently, 41 of the 60 cottages have been officially reserved. In order to not rush the process Cedars management allow perspective residents to hold a cottage while they decide.

The cost of the cottages are determined by the “Life Lease” signed. The entrance fees start at $122, 900 and run up to $324, 900. Prices range by cottage size and what percentage of that fee is refundable once a resident leaves. The lowest price of each cottage style is zero refundable. The highest is 90 percent refundable.

The Cedars of Dexter is located at 411 Cedars Lane, Dexter. Call 734-433-1210 to set up a tour or get more information. Visit the website at

Ann Dwyer writes Home articles for To contact her, email or call 734-623-2538.


Ben Connor Barrie

Sat, Apr 30, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

Is this an ad?


Fri, Apr 29, 2011 : 8:13 a.m.

For $122K these are the types of homes that young professional needs just starting off in their careers. Is the land really that high in A2 that homes like these can't be built for a profit? Why does it take the "golden years" for homes like these to be available? With prices like these, it's much better than what $60K buys at the Village, or, $90-110K at the former apartments on Pauline, or even Geddes Lake! But then again, a association fee of $2200-2800 ouch! LOL, the "Life Lease", "...once a resident leaves" does this really mean "when a resident dies?" So the percentage that if refundable is contingent upon how long you live!

zip the cat

Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

$2500.00 plus per month on top of a huge mortgage payment. Maybe in Bloomfield Hills or the points of Birmingham. Way,Way over priced for this area. And all those trees they cut down . Seniors need affordable housing not a taj mahal


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

This is one more example of an overpriced complex that will benefit the rich developers. We need AFFORDABLE senior housing, not more upscale housing for rich people and rich developers. Get real. This country is going bankrupt and many seniors on fixed incomes are the losers, along with the middle class. Build some affordable housing, for people living on Social Security, and then write and article advertising it.


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

Way overpriced and terrible location, this development will tank out. Might as well live in an apartment complex, too close for comfort.


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 2 p.m.

This is not news. It's a glorified advertisement. your loosing me here.


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

Dual societies, even to the end. Help us.