Jeffrey and Diana Koonce were among the early group to move in to The Henry at Fritz Farm, the 302 unit apartment complex at the southeast corner of Nicholasville Road and Man O’ War Drive.
Less than a year ago, they were living in a four bedroom home in Lawrenceburg with vague but optimistic imaginings for what the future would hold.
“We’re recent empty nesters in a new stage of life,” said Mr. Koonce, a bank president with WesBanco who was making a daily commute to Lexington. “We decided to try something fun and different.”
The Henry is representative of an emerging trend of Lifestyle Center Developments, which are making their way into suburban open-air malls.
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“You can have an exciting life right outside your door, where you can walk to shopping and walk to dining,” explains Michelle Rowlett, Community Manager for The Henry. “I can park my car and don’t even have to start my car for days on end if I don’t want to. I’ve got a grocery store, restaurants, Starbucks. Everything’s literally right here.”
PART OF THE SOLUTION
The Henry borrows its name from Lexington’s favorite son, 19th century statesman Henry Clay. The complex is spread over four buildings, two free standing and two located on top of ground floor retail shops. One, two and three bedroom apartments are available in a variety of floorplans.
The Koonces are in one of the free standing buildings with ready access to the fitness studio, landscaped courtyards, and outdoor saltwater pool.
“We found the place when it was under construction and got to choose what we wanted,” said Ms. Koonce, who is retired from state government.
Nine foot ceilings add to the open feel of their 4th floor unit, as does their beloved private terrace, “it’s our morning coffee space and happy place,” Ms. Koonce said.
“There’s such a need for density housing now,” said Mr. Koonce. “Between now and 2040 there’s supposed to be over a hundred thousand new people living in the central Kentucky area. The Henry is part of the solution.”
TIME TO GO AND DO!
The couple’s most pleasant surprise about The Henry has been the sense of community.
“They do a lot of mixers here to help get everybody to know everybody,” Ms. Koonce said. “We’ve been to three since we moved in in May. There are a lot of medical professionals. A lot of people like us who have downsized. A great group of people.”
The community mixers often include Fritz Farm retail owners, and the Koonces and Chloe, their Shih Tzu poodle mix, are on a first name basis with many and store-owners and restaurant-owners.
“We got an invitation to an Open House at Lily Rain,” Ms. Koonce said. “And at the bottom they wrote Please Bring Chloe. It’s a very dog friendly community. Most of the stores will let you bring your dog in. They have treats and bowls of water.”
Ms. Koonce operates a jewelry business out of the home that provides her a chance to give back to breast cancer survivors like herself. “I fund raise to provide necklaces for people going through treatment who may not have had the support that I had,” Mrs. Koonce said.
“Going through a couple of years of health concerns is part of the reason we’re here,” said Mr. Koonce. “She recovered now, and we realize we’re not promised tomorrow. Life’s too short. We decided we were going to Go and Do.”
Recent trips have included Zimbabwe and Sicily.
“We like that we can just lock the door and leave. This may not be our forever place,” Mr. Koonce said. “But we have no desire to leave at this point. We’re really enjoying it.”