Historic Twelve Oaks retirement community re-opening in spring 2017.
By Mary O’KEEFE
In August 2013, about 50 residents were given the unimaginable news that they would have to vacate their home at Twelve Oaks Lodge at 2820 Sycamore Ave. in La Crescenta. For many this was a devastating turn of events. For about 80 years this local assisted living home for the elderly had served the residents and the community but the then-management company, the non-profit be.group, had decided to sell the facility.
But the closure did not sit well with residents of Twelve Oaks, families, neighbors or the National Charity League, Glendale Chapter which 10 years prior had turned the management over to the be.group. NCL stated at the time they knew nothing of this plan to sell the property.
James and Effie Fifield of the Verdugo Hills Sunshine Society had donated the Twelve Oaks Lodge property with the intention that the property be used as a home for seniors.
The battle for Twelve Oaks began with the arousal of public opinion and, in the end, in the courts. NCL sued be.group, and won the decision to have the property transferred back to them. Then the Twelve Oaks Foundation was established to oversee the property and let the community know its goal was to open the facility again for seniors.
This week Northstar Senior Living and Twelve Oaks Foundation announced the “refresh and reopening of Twelve Oaks Lodge.” The planned reopening is for spring of this year.
The announcement was made via press release by Northstar, which is the new company managing the facility. Northstar, according to the statement, “currently provides senior living management and consulting services to a growing portfolio of more than 30 senior living communities across the U.S. and Mexico.”
“We have kept the original layout of the property and are renovating the grounds and buildings,” said Suzie Wood, vice president of sales and marketing for Northstar Senior Living.
The entire renovations are estimated to be completed within three years. What will be completed first, by this spring, are the assisted living and memory care facilities. The duplex and cottages will be completed after that.
Wood said she has received positive feedback concerning the re-opening of Twelve Oaks Lodge.
“I do get a sense of a tremendous sense of excitement,” she said.
Northstar has reached out to former residents to let them know of the progress and to give them an opportunity to return.
The 80-year history of Twelve Oaks has not been lost on Woods. She said as she was walking through the facility she noticed several paintings on the walls.
“They looked like they were hand painted, perhaps by former residents,” she said. “We cannot get rid of them.”
She is planning on creating an artist gallery to display these found pieces of art. Wood is presently looking for any old photos of Twelve Oaks. If anyone has anything to contribute they can contact Northstar.
“It has been a long road and we are very much looking forward to our grand re-opening,” said Paris Cohen, vice president of the Twelve Oaks Foundation.
The location offers an independent and assisted living as well as memory care facility. There are 50 apartment homes on the 4.5-acre oak-filled campus, according to Northstar.
“Some of the units will be part of an on-site secured Memory Care program called Journeys that will provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s /dementia. Offering the best care available and staff who become like family, Twelve Oaks will keep residents safe and comfortable in their own homes,” according to Northstar.
“Northstar Senior Living is dedicated to exemplary service in our communities and the highest quality of life for our residents,” stated Steve Kregel, COO of Northstar Senior Living. “Northstar was founded on a simple philosophy: To create a personal and carefree environment for all of our residents with service based on integrity, honesty and dignity. We are excited to refresh and re-open this historic community in La Crescenta and to bring our first-rate quality to seniors in the area.”
The studio units will begin at $2,400 per month. There will be three restaurant-style meals per day, full care services, daily activities, a full-time nurse, call system, 24-hour staffing, weekly housekeeping, laundry and cable TV.
Twelve Oaks Lodge is now accepting reservations, and will open its doors to its new residents in the spring. For more information, call Suzie Woods at (951) 491-3477 or visit NorthStarSeniorLiving.com.
In 1963 the National Charity League of Glendale raised more than $50,000 to fund a new retirement home in Glendale. Impressed with the Sunshine Society and Twelve Oaks, they instead decided to donate the entire sum to them, building Stern Hall at Twelve Oaks, a residence hall specifically for elderly women. Sensing a kindred spirit in the League, the Sunshine Society decided to entrust ownership of the Lodge to the League, and the Sunshine Society was renamed the Twelve Oaks Foundation of National Charity League of Glendale. The League ran Twelve Oaks until about 14 years ago, at which time control of Twelve Oaks Foundation was given to Southern California Presbyterian Homes, later renamed the be.group.