South Franklin Circle offers a unique approach to senior living. The community design recalls traditional estate architecture of Cleveland's Western Reserve.
The 80,000 SF Community Center provides a focus for activities. Enclosed bridges on the second level connect to the adjacent Independent and Assisted Living buildings.
With a strong connection to the outdoors, the indoor swimming pool is a popular amenity for residents.
The restaurant was designed with a range of seating areas to create an intimate environment for all residents, regardless of the number of patrons.
Townhouses feature gracious two story living spaces.
Cottages and Garden Duplexes are sited around a common green space to create distinct neighborhoods.
The site’s distinct natural features were maintained by creative siting strategies, which limited impact on existing wetlands and preserved major existing tree areas.
South Franklin Circle’s assortment of housing options were designed to appeal to a range of age groups and support a variety of living preferences.
South Franklin Circle
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
For more than a century, Judson Services of Cleveland, Ohio has been a pioneer in creating dynamic independent and assisted living communities. South Franklin Circle, located in the Bainbridge Township of Northeast Ohio, was envisioned as a new type of retirement community that offers a unique approach to senior living and encourages an active adult lifestyle that would help individuals take charge of their successful aging experience. The program features a range of housing types focused around a community center and landscape amenities, encouraging residents to connect with nature, remain active in the community and maintain healthy living habits. South Franklin Circle offers specialized services and provides the framework for an independent lifestyle that allows residents to retain their individuality.

GUND’s master plan looks to new urbanist ideals for housing and community development and is comprised of a more densely populated village square with a Community Center and outlying residential homes. A wide variety of housing units including Independent Living apartments, townhouses, cottages and assisted living units provide design features that promote independence while planning for aging in place. A total of 320 units feature 30 different floor plans that are fully customizable.

The Community Center is the focal point for activity and encourages community connectivity. It conveniently houses three restaurants— a cafe, pub and formal dining. Physical and mental wellness is promoted with an indoor heated swimming pool, fitness and dance studios, distance learning classrooms, art and woodworking studios, beauty salon and spa, pet grooming, guest suites for visiting family, auditorium, and business center.

South Franklin Circle’s 88-acre site was designed to provide residents direct engagement with its distinct natural features. Expansive green space with gardens and walking and biking trails are incorporated in the 32 acres of woods and wetlands. Opportunities for community outreach are supported with playgrounds, sensory and vegetable gardens, in addition to a public Metroparks interpretive trail system.

Creative siting strategies limited impact on existing wetlands and preserved major tree areas. Only a quarter acre of the original wetlands on site were impacted, and in response three acres of wetlands were reconstructed within the Chagrin River watershed. In addition, two stormwater detention ponds were built and native plants were used to support the long-term health of the site. To date 84% of the construction waste has been recycle.


2009 (Phase 1)


805,000 SF


Multifamily Housing, Senior Living Award


Brad Feinknopf
Frank Salle
Barney Taxel