Keene Native Returns to Reinvent Mill on Water Street

Keene, NH, July 02, 2008 --( Something big is brewing on Water Street and a Keene native has come back home to lead the charge. Coming October, 2008, Keene will have their first independent senior living community, under the direction of Executive Director Toby Watterson. Bentley Commons at Keene is answering a call for more senior housing in the area with their new location at 197 Water Street. The communities parent company, Senior Management, LLC, owns Bentley Commons at Bedford and The Inn at Spruce Wood in Durham, and is reinventing the former John P. Rust bucket factory to create Bentley Commons at Keene. The end result will be an upscale community comprised of 109 private studio, one and two bedroom apartments.

Bentley Commons will allow active seniors to remain independent for as long as possible as they age, with a combination of privacy and services. The communities goal is to enrich the lives of seniors with convenient amenities and services designed to make their lives more fulfilling, easier and safer as they get older. These amenities and services leave seniors with time to do what they love instead of worrying about things like maintaining their home or cooking.

For a monthly rental fee, the community will include three daily, gourmet meals served restaurant style, transportation to all activities and appointments, daily cultural, recreational and social activities and on-site health and wellness services. For adult children, family and friends, Bentley Commons at Keene will mean peace-of-mind should mom or dad fall during the night or experience a lapse in memory. This is accomplished with 24-hour awake overnight staffing, as well as apartments and common areas that are designed with mobility, disabilities and safety in mind.

Said Watterson, “We have a deep-seeded mission to make each resident a vital part of our extended family. For many seniors, their spouses are deceased or their friends have passed. By encouraging residents to form relationships, connect with one another in our common areas and through our activities and amenities, we seek to create a strong community that will support one another through the difficult years that aging can bring.”

The son of Barbara & John Watterson, Toby hails from a family with a rich baseball history. His father, John, was an integral part of Keene baseball for 50 years. He grew up in Keene with his siblings Kevin, Daryl, Brian and Kim. Toby attended all Keene area schools, graduating from Keene High School and Phillips Exeter Academy. He majored in Business Management at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and since then has worked with such prestigious property management companies as Marriott Worldwide and the Hilton Corporation. Toby’s experience has included managing Westgate Resorts and the Laurel Point Resort in Gatlinburg, TN. He has also managed the Walt Disney Hampton Inn, Enclave Beach Resort and the Sailport Resort in Florida, as well as condominium associations and boards of directors.

Toby and his family currently reside in Westford, MA, having returned to his roots and his own extended family in early, 2008.

The Bentley Commons at Keene project is expected to conclude in October and will have 109 units and large, common areas. The architect and construction companies behind the project have taken great care in restoring and maintaining the period details of the building. These details will be carried over into the newly constructed building that is attached to the former mill.

The John P. Rust bucket factory and its property has seen many uses over the years. In the late 1800's it was a granite and tile company and in 1894, was sold to the Indurated Paper Company. Five years later, the late John P. Rust bought the plant, and made it the new headquarters for his wooden pail factory. Here, pails and packages of various sizes and styles were made for the use of preserve manufacturers and packaging houses. In 1902, disaster struck when a fire destroyed the building. Later that year, it was rebuilt, creating the brick mill building that stands today.

For more information, call (603) 352-1282.

Bentley Commons at Keene
Carol Arnold
877-718-4604 x2