By Kinnidy Thoreson, Staff Writer
Montrose Manor, the assisted living community off from E. Georgia Road in Woodruff, recently reopened as Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff with new management.
North Carolina businessman Gray Angell has owned the property since it was brand-new in 2004 but said he just recently “saw an opportunity to improve the property and take over operations.” Two other sets of management have operated the facility since it opened.
Angell aims to spend around half a million dollars on renovations, including new floors, paint, lighting, furniture, and eventually a courtyard. In the future, he would also like to build a secure, 10-room memory-care addition to care for those with memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
Angell chose the name Brookstone for the Woodruff assisted living facility to correlate with the other facility he owns in North Carolina, Brookstone of Clemmons. He also previously owned an Alzheimer’s care facility and a retirement community in North Carolina but sold them both last year. Now that he only owns the Brookstone of Clemmons and Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff, Angell said he can be just as involved as he likes to be in his facilities.
Although he has large aspirations for the property, Angell says that one of his favorite things about this facility is that Brookstone is not in a very large community but has a tremendous amount of common areas. “I love the location, being right near downtown. There’s not a lot of competition, and it’s a growing area. I love, love, love the people, I love the staff there and their attitudes towards the residents so that’s why I decided to take up operations,” said Angell.
Currently about 40 residents reside at Brookstone and Angell estimates that 35 to 40 residents will be consistent number even though the facility can house up to 60 residents. Brookstone staffs 20 employees to care for the residents. This again is a decision made so that the standard of living within the home is higher for each resident, and more meaningful connections can be made throughout the facility. “I am very family-oriented,” states Angell.
Angell’s passion for the assisted living industry started at a young age, as he grew up watching his father work in these types of facilities. He also has experience with nursing homes as he worked in several when in college in Miami.
Angell says nursing homes are more difficult to manage and he got out of those about a decade ago, choosing to focus on assisted living because “it has just always been something that I loved doing.”
Nursing homes are designed for seniors who require 24-hour medical care while assisted living communities are for mostly independent residents but who are no longer capable of living alone.
Angell also states that he does not believe in “step-up pricing,” which is an increase in cost for an unforeseen circumstance such as when a resident’s health declines.
“We are less expensive than other facilities in Spartanburg and Greenville,” Angell said. “I try my best to try not to raise our prices. People work hard their whole life to save, and I believe families should not have to spend all of their hard-earned money on long-term care so I try my best to give the best price and the best services.”
Angell is working with the facility’s marketing representative, Donna Simpson, to teach the community about the owner and operation transitions at Brookstone. “You have to take care of the people, or it is not going to work,” said Angell.
“We want to be involved with this community,” said Simpson. In order to get to know the community, Simpson has personally visited many churches and shops around the area. Additionally, Simpson also worked on organizing a socially-distanced event in order for Woodruff residents to get to know Brookstone Terrace. The event, called “Eat & Greet” is planned for Labor Day weekend, and people will be able to drive-through and say hi to the residents while enjoying a complimentary hot dog lunch drive. The event will have some outside entertainment and social distancing will be encouraged.
In addition to their lunch on Labor Day, the assisted living facility hopes to have a grand reopening with a ribbon cutting ceremony when it’s the right time.
“We want to get to know Woodruff, and we want Woodruff to get to know us. Hopefully we’ll be taking part in some things that go on in town because there is a lot happening,” said Simpson.