Friendship Village breaks ground on new apartments set to launch in 2020


C.E.O. of FV Services, Inc. and Dorris Brown pose in front of the 40 Years of Friendship sign. Brown is holding a photo from her appearance at the first groundbreaking event in 1978. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

C.E.O. of FV Services, Inc. Terry Walsh and Doris Brown pose in front of the “40 Years of Friendship” sign. Brown is holding a photo from her appearance at the first groundbreaking event in 1978. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Jessica Belle Kramer

For the Call

Friendship Village held a groundbreaking ceremony last week to publicize construction of a new apartment building set to open at its Sunset Hills facility in 2020. The apartments will bring 100 more residents into the Sunset Hills community, some of whom were in attendance.

Dignitaries attending the June 7 ceremony from the Sunset Hills community included Mayor Patricia Fribis, Ward 4 Alderman Mark Colombo and Crestwood-Sunset Hills Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Belanger. 

Friendship Village Chaplain Jim Savage led the audience in prayer and expressed his “gratitude for the community and political leaders” in attendance.

Friendship Village leaders also took the time to recognize the town of Sunset Hills itself.

“We love Sunset Hills and we are a proud member of this community,” Friendship Village Community Outreach Director Carmen Worley said.

The city shares similar feelings toward what Friendship Village is calling its “2020 Vision.”

“They had overwhelming support by the Board of Aldermen of Sunset Hills,” Colombo said. 

“So we were very happy to assist them in any way we could to get this accomplished. We’re very grateful that we’re doing this and getting some new residents.” 

Belanger, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber takes pride in the city’s latest development and the statement it makes about Sunset Hills.

“Our interests are certainly in the growth of any of our businesses in our community and this growth, I believe, is exceptional because of the fact it came from an organic standpoint opposed to acquisition,” Belanger said. “Organic growth always stems to the health and the vitality of the organization that is creating that growth, so I think it’s a really fabulous development for this organization. 

“I think it’ll be another asset that Sunset Hills can proclaim as a reason for the attractiveness of the city, for the ability to have new people want to come. People want to go to a community that is growing and thriving, and this certainly is a strong statement to the growth of Sunset Hills and our community at large.”

Among those in attendance was current resident Doris Brown, 93. It was a special moment in history for Brown because she was at the original groundbreaking in 1978 when Friendship Village first opened. She was married to one of the first board members of Friendship Village, Max Brown, who helped purchase the land and conduct electrical inspections.

“It’s just altogether different. Everything’s changed,” Brown said.