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Arabella Manor to expand this summer

Joni M. Neal and Kimberly Englund love the residents of Arabella Manor, an independent-living apartment complex for adults 55 and better in Alexandria. The two women have developed individual relationships that go far beyond knowing the first and last name of those who live at Arabella. They have made this apartment building for seniors an elegant place where they would want their loved ones to live, with all the personal touches that make it a home.

Joni and Kim will soon have more residents to love… as they recently announced that a second Arabella Manor building will be opening next summer. Residents now have an opportunity to reserve their rooms in the new facility.

“Arabella is unique in that it provides special ‘nice-ities’ on the premises in addition to providing independent-living choices. It is an apartment building designed to ‘age-in-place,’ giving tenants the freedom to secure specific services on their own, meeting their own specific needs,” explained Neal, president and proprietor of the facility, adding, “Residents pick and choose what they want, and where they want to get it from.”

Joni and Kim both jumped at the opportunity to provide the best services available to “seniors” based on what they would want for their loved ones, and based on where and how they would wish to live themselves.

“I was influenced by my grandmother, Margaret Monson,” Joni explained. “Even though she has now passed, I wanted to create a choice-filled, in-between step from living alone at her house to nursing home care.” That thought brought Joni to a vision of “independent living with the option of having services brought in” and eventually the building of Arabella. Kim was soon onboard as director of operations, and the facility opened Sept. 1, 2005.

Joni and Kim work very closely together as an administrative team, filling all the duties required in business management. They can be found anywhere from giving a tour to meeting with residents and family members. They assist in planning activities for residents and are on-call 24/7. They can be found changing light bulbs or fixing television-set glitches. “We help residents secure and contract with the services they want, based on their needs,” said Kim.  Some of those individual services include assistance with transportation, housekeeping, medication management, grocery delivery, laundry and personal hygiene.

Some residents have specialized nursing services, not contracted by Arabella, but by the individuals themselves. Some residents have senior companions, some opt to purchase meals catered by Pete’s County Market, either on a daily basis or whenever they don’t feel like cooking their own meal in their apartment. The dedication to service provided by both Joni and Kim has brought success to this new generation of independent lifestyle seniors. Arabella Manor is more than an apartment building for senior living because of the unique relationships that have formed and services that have been added over the years “Our oldest tenant is 95 years of age and lives independently. The previous owner of the property on which Arabella now stands lives here and is still known as the supervisor of development,” Kim smiled. “Someone else checks doors and lights at night. Another resident contributes to daily operations, when he hears the snow plow at 5:30 a.m. he’s up shoveling the front sidewalk and always makes coffee in the common area by 7:30 a.m. It’s a family atmosphere here. We’re small enough to know everyone and know every family. Coffee time is around 3 o’clock, but if you show up on time you’re late,” added Kim.

Arabella hosts special events, including Arabella Marketplace, with 25+ vendors providing holiday treats and gifts for sale (held in November). They organize a similar event for springtime shopping. “A lot of card playing is going on almost every day,” Kim smiled. “You’ll find many whist players among the group. We also have a host of themed parties to go with seasons and holidays,” she added.

Arabella Manor is a secure building featuring one and two-bedroom units and can be leased on a month-to-month basis or longer, based on resident wishes and needs. The lease includes central air, central heat, electricity, garbage, water, TV, snow removal and activities. Apartment floor plans feature a large kitchen with a nook, spacious living room, bay window, washer and dryer hook-up, and individually-controlled central air conditioning and heating. Coin-operated laundry rooms are available if the tenant chooses NOT to have a washer and dryer in their apartment. Garages are available, and residents are just minutes away from area activities of recreation and culture, including Theatre L’Homme Dieu, the Alexandria Area Arts Association, the Runestone Museum, the MN Lakes Maritime Museum, and doctoring and shopping in downtown Alexandria are all just minutes away.

Arabella also features a large common area for dining, meetings, family gatherings or coffee time. A serving kitchen, living room with fireplace, postal area, elevator, library with games, fitness center and barber/beauty shop are added amenities. Explained Kim, “The beauty shop is busy on Wednesdays as Annie  Koudela fills all hair and beauty care needs. We have a registered nurse who comes in to trim nails. One of our tenants organizes the books in the library. Activities are huge for the residents,” she added.  A guest suite for visiting family members is also available.

Joni and Kim have also brought outdoor enjoyment to the residents of Arabella with picturesque trails, a pond, trees and wildlife.


Kimberly Englund, director of operations, and Joni M. Neal, president and proprietor, sit at the site of the soon-to-be-built second site of Arabella Manor in Alexandria. The first Arabella Manor building was constructed in 2005. The second one is scheduled to open in 2014. Contributed photo

Second Building The opening of Arabella Manor’s second building is scheduled for August 2014. It will provide 37 new apartments with six different floor plans available. Floor plans vary from 745 square feet up to 1,389 square feet.

Those interested in learning more about the facility are encouraged to contact Kim or Joni soon.

“We’re already over one-half full,” Neal explained.

The new facility will extend the tradition and personal touch provided by Arabella Manor.

“The beauty of Arabella Manor is that we accommodate a limitless array of priorities for active living. Our residents choose personalized services, and at the same time, we provide activities and necessities. We are creating an opportunity for people to make lifestyle choices,” echoed both Joni and Kim.

Arabella Ranch Just across the street from Arabella Manor are the Arabella Ranch Townhomes, created in partnership with the natural beauty it embraces. These single-level-living townhomes with inviting floor plans take advantage of the breathtaking views, private ponds, and walking trails framed by majestic oaks.

“It’s perfectly natural to feel right at home at Arabella Ranch, this is a senior-friendly community, however not age restricted,” explained Joni, adding “If you’re looking for retirement living that is naturally beautiful, delightfully uncrowded, convenient and affordable, check out Arabella Ranch.”

Contact Information Arabella Manor is a private facility, owned by Marston Development. It is located at 1810 Darling Avenue just east of Henry’s Foods in Alexandria.

Tours of Arabella Manor and Arabella Ranch are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment. For more information call (320) 763-1763.

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