A Place to Call Home
The transition from child to adult usually culminates in an ultimate move from one’s childhood home. Plano residents Karen and Matt Pizette are in the midst of this stage with their three children now.
Their 25-year-old son lives on his own in Garland, and their younger daughter is a 20-year-old college sophomore. But as they are experiencing with their middle daughter, 23-year-old Sydney, the process can vary.
“We always joke around about how we will never be empty nesters,” Karen Pizette said about herself, her husband and Sydney. “We will always be together, which is awesome.”
Autism and learning differences make it a challenge for Sydney to live independently, but with a job at Starbucks and an abundant social life, Sydney has gained a level of independence comfortable for both herself and her family. Karen and Matt know their daughter’s involvement with My Possibilities (MP) in Plano is a big part of that.
As a nonprofit organization dedicated to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, My Possibilities gives its clients – known as Hugely Important People, or as they are affectionately called, HIPsters – an opportunity to build independence and vocational skills in a safe and nurturing environment.
When word spread that MP would be embarking on a residential project for HIPsters and their families – a master planned community – the Pizettes were thrilled. And although they have not yet decided where they will spend their future as a family of three, they agree that having this option is incredible.
Which is completely expected, said Jill Scigliano, director of residential for My Possibilities. With MP planning to break ground on the community next year, these parents can breathe a new sigh of relief for their children’s future.
When the idea for a master planned community for HIPsters and their families was conceived in 2017, MP immediately began its search for a location. That’s when owners came across Eastern Hills in south Garland, a 178-acre property with views of Lake Ray Hubbard.
My Possibilities was able to secure the unused, bankrupt country club and golf course through a generous donation by a private donor, according to Jill.
Initial approval for the development’s current plans occurred late last year, and the project is in builder-selection process. “Our goal is to break ground in 2020, and the entire build process for all the homes and onsite community center – all of it – is five to six years,” Jill said.
The master planned community will contain 300 homes, of which MP will own 100. The remaining 200 homes will be available for purchase by the general public.
It has not been decided if the 100 MP homes will be available to rent or buy. “We want to keep the options as open and inclusive as possible,” Jill said, “so we are waiting to get further along into the project to decide the specifics of owning and renting.”
While there are no floor plans yet, Jill shared her best estimate of home size to range from 1,700 to 3,000 square feet per house, with a purchase price between the high $200 thousands and the low $300 thousands.
According to Jill, structural amenities on the property will not be finalized until the builder has been brought on board, but potential spaces include a community center, swimming pool, gym and outdoor amphitheater area.
There will be a belt of green space surrounding the outer edge of the property, and plenty of outdoor trails and picnic areas, accessible by all. Sidewalks will be easily walkable, and walkways will not have lots of steps, according to Jill.
“Whether you are an aging parent living there, whether you have little kids, whether you have a disability,” she said, “you have access to everything in the community. It’s all easy for you to use.”
From a property management and HOA perspective, there will be basic services such as 24-hour security and an onsite nurse able to take care of simple health-related issues, such as checking blood pressure. Additionally, there will be a shuttle service available to all residents of the development, not just My Possibilities’ clients.
According to Jill, this unique type of residential community is definitely a novel idea for Texas, and also across the country right now. “The wonderful part of this project is that we are being watched by other individuals and entities, and other states have contacted us and asked us to let them know how it is going as we go through the process.”
Although they have not finalized the qualification or application process for potential residents, My Possibilities has a waitlist of hundreds of individuals from all over the country interested in more information.
The Pizettes are still deciding where they will spend their future together as a family of three, but they know this would be an amazing opportunity.
“It makes you feel good knowing that it would be a community where everybody will be around,” Matt said. “We would be able to watch out for each other, and it gives us a good feeling.”My Possibilities Residential >