Plainfield Community: A 'Leisure World' for Older Adults

Article excerpt

Byline: Gwen H. Jader Daily Herald Correspondent

* Price range: houses, $132,990 to $170,990; town houses, $120,990 to $126,990

* Models opened: Cambridge models opened in spring 1995

* Schools: Elementary and high school not applicable since no one under the age of 18 is allowed to live at Carillon. Joliet Junior College offers an Emeritus Program for people 50 and older

For homeowners at Carillon in Plainfield, the old saying, "Life begins at 40," may be more appropriately rephrased as "A new lifestyle begins at 55."

Cambridge-at-Carillon, for people 55 years of age and older, offers Chicago's version of adult communities popular in Florida, Arizona and California.

Social and recreational opportunities, a 24-hour manned guardhouse and dawn-to-dusk patrols allows empty nesters to pursue a "Leisure World" type of lifestyle near their family and friends.

Cambridge Homes became involved in the community last May, and 98 homes have been sold since then.

"This community has been a very popular concept in the snowbelt region because many people living here are not yet retired, yet want to live in a community with others in their age group who share similar interests. They also want a primary residence in Illinois so they can see more of their children," says Richard J. Brown, the president of Cambridge Homes.

Cambridge-at-Carillon is planned for 2,025 houses and town houses. Five-hundred-twenty-six homes have been sold, 428 before Cambridge became involved.

"People are attracted by the lifestyle," says marketing manager Mary Meyn. "They are looking for a traditional-style neighborhood where they can participate in activities with those who share the same interests."

A full-time activities director plans outings, and a temporary recreation center boasts a theater, exercise room and library. An outdoor pool has been built, and the community is located next to the Links of Carillon golf course.

A 32,000-square-foot recreation center is being constructed and will include a theater, billiards room and fitness center with a room for aerobics and stretching classes and fully equipped weight and cardiovascular rooms. It also will feature a heated indoor pool with access to the outdoor pool, arts, crafts, ceramic and painting studios and club rooms for informal gatherings. Two outdoor tennis courts also are planned. …