A senior community blooms in New Rochelle

Offering independent living, assisted living and memory care, Monarch Coopers Corner will open in the winter on the site of the former Coopers Corner Nursery in New Rochelle.

The Violet Dining Room. The Forsythia Family Room.  The Tamarack Larch Salon. When New Rochelle’s newest senior living community, Monarch Coopers Corner, named its amenities, its location inspired the decisions. For more than seven decades, the Cooper’s Corner Nursery stood at 11 Mill Road, closing in 2015. Monarch Coopers Corner is scheduled to open there this winter.

The facility offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. Its features are tailored to the newest generation of older adults. Among them are concierge service, resident-response wearable technology and electric vehicle charging. Dining options are designed for varied tastes, from restaurant settings to a pub, café and juice bar, with locally sourced ingredients. The community is a pet-friendly environment with a dog run and available pet services.

The pet-friendly environment is just one more way that the residence reflects its mission.  

“Beyond all of these features, we focus on connecting residents to nature and its tremendous benefits as well as offering programming that brings people together in purposeful ways,” says William Crawford, Monarch Coopers Corner’s executive director. “This is why our location on the former Cooper’s Corner Nursery site is so meaningful. Besides providing the area with beautiful plants, the garden center was a place where people enjoyed the outdoors and each other.”

Following its 1942 founding by Charlotte and Amadio Caccia, Cooper’s Corner Nursery grew into more than only a garden center. Much of this evolution stemmed from the creativity of the Caccias’ daughter, Merilyn Pucillo, who took over the business from her parents. The nursery offered a zoo of sorts that included Shetland ponies, peacocks, chickens and rabbits. 

“It became a nice attraction for the community to come and visit the animals,” says Charlotte Addison, Pucillo’s daughter and granddaughter of the founders. “The place was abuzz with flowers every spring into summer. It was a main attraction during the holidays for Christmas trees and handmade wreaths.”

These traditions mirror guiding principles for Monarch Coopers Corner, the senior living community.  A 15,000-square-foot garden with walking paths graces the building’s exterior, encouraging outdoor enjoyment and movement. Raised garden beds invite residents to exercise their green thumbs before relaxing in rocking chairs in a covered outdoor space in front of the community. On the building’s second floor, home to memory care residents, a partially covered terrace offers the opportunity to enjoy time outdoors much of the year. 

Natural light floods the building’s interior. Most apartments feature 90-inch-by-80-inch picture windows coated in a gloss that brings sunshine in while reducing glare. Light streams through other windows throughout the community, too, with the goal of lifting moods, regulating circadian rhythms and promoting healing and sleep.  Wood furnishings and finishes along with a color palette of natural tones also help bring nature indoors. So do walls filled with living greenery, abundant plants and artwork of natural scenes. 

“Like Cooper’s Corner Nursery, another vital aspect of our community is creating an environment promoting interaction with others, creativity and meaning,” Crawford said. “Residents’ families are encouraged to feel that our community is a kind of home to them, as well. We plan to forge strong ties with area volunteer service organizations, so our residents can contribute their talents to the benefit of the greater community around us.” 

Programming will span a range of opportunities, from art, music, technology and more to fitness and wellness classes, all enabling residents to explore new interests as well as sustain lifelong pursuits. 

The names Violet Dining Room, Forsythia Family Room and Tamarack Larch Salon refer to two of the favorite flowering plants of the Cooper’s Corner Nursery family and one of the trees they loved the most. Just as personal is the name of Monarch Coopers Corner’s pub and café. It is called Papa and Omie’s, the grandchildren’s nickname for Amadio and Charlotte Caccia. 

“Many friends and family in lower Westchester are touched by Monarch’s tribute to Cooper’s Corner both in its name and creating an oasis of beauty for elders and their families,” says Addison, adding that it is “a fitting evolution.

Monarch Coopers Corner is the first senior living community in Westchester County to seek WELL certification from the International WELL Building Institute, or IWBI. WELL is grounded in research into the health effects of physical spaces on people. The community’s leasing gallery is open at 11 Mill Road and accepting reservations for resident apartments. For more, call 914-819-5370 or visit monarchcooperscorner.com. 

Audrey Knoth is an award-winning broadcaster and writer. In her free time, she enjoys golf, swimming and spending time with family, friends and her rescue dog Shelton.

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