Buckner High Rise to Open in 2019

With adult children in Dallas and a church they love near Highland Park, Rick and Melissa Owens don’t want to move far, but up works just fine.

The retired American Airlines pilot and his wife look forward to moving to Ventana by Buckner and enjoying the “high-rise living, which will be new to us,” he said.

Buckner International, a Dallas-based nonprofit, is building the 12-story continuing care retirement community on three acres just beyond the University Park city limits and across from NorthPark Center. Whiting-Turner serves as lead contractor for the project designed by D2 Architecture.

The $136 million development at the southwest corner of North Central Expressway and Northwest Highway should open in time for the first residents to move in by mid-2019, according to Charlie Wilson, senior vice president for Buckner Retirement Services.

The Owens’ decision to buy into the community was influenced by Buckner’s reputation for quality, the community’s ability to provide ongoing care for the Owens as they age, and the appealing location not far from Park Cities Presbyterian Church, where the Owens are active members.

“We live nearby [now], and we can stay in the neighborhood we love,” Rick said.

At the time of the April 20 groundbreaking, 133 out of 189 independent living apartment homes were reserved. Units range from 800 to 1,900 square feet and come with buy-ins ranging from $400,000 to more than $1 million.

Wilson said 95 percent of that buy-in is guaranteed — money that could go to residents’ estates or be recouped if residents move somewhere else. He doesn’t expect many to want or need to move somewhere else, however.

“The residents know they are joining not just a community but a family,” Wilson said.

Ventana, so named for the Spanish word for “window,” aims to provide “a new outlook and way of life for senior adults,” he said.

Residents within the two residential towers will enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows that provide sweeping views of the downtown Dallas skyline and the Park Cities, as well as a variety of amenities at their feet.

(Courtesy photo)

The community will include an on-site health center, three dining areas, a wellness center with a heated indoor pool, a multipurpose Grand Hall, salon and spa, rooftop garden, outdoor lounges, patio grilling area, and underground parking with optional valet service.

In addition to the independent living apartment homes, the towers will include specialized units for those who may eventually need higher levels of care. Short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, memory care, and assisted living will be available at reduced rates.

Albert L. Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International, said employees know their mission: “Be Christlike, create joy and love, and know your people.”

Buckner opened its first retirement community in 1954, but its history of serving the needs of seniors goes back to its earliest days.

Row houses on the edge of the Buckner Children’s Home campus in Dallas provided living space for retired pastors and missionaries, explained Ed Francis, a banker who serves as Buckner’s chairman of the board.

“Father Buckner would send the children to live with the aged from time to time,” he jokingly reminded future Ventana residents. “I can tell you the board has voted, and we are not going to be sending any children to live with you at Ventana.”

With $27 collected by passing a hat during a Baptist Sunday School convention in East Texas, the Rev. R.C. Buckner chartered Buckner Orphans Home in 1879. Today, the agency continues to provide a variety of foster care, adoption, and family services, while also operating five other retirement care properties in Texas.


189 independent living units
48 skilled nursing units
38 assisted living units
26 specialized memory care suites
24 rehabilitation units
Learn more at the Information Center located at 8401 North Central Expressway, Suite 725; call 214-234-1035; or visit buckner.org.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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