Arcadia Eyesore Transformed to Community Asset
Challenges in our life are always thrilling and exciting. That is why they are considered a challenge! Each community we design has an intrinsic challenge which in turn creates an opportunity for our design team at Thoma-Holec Design.

MorningStar at Arcadia was originally intended to be a luxury condominium complex in the heart of the Arcadia district in Phoenix, AZ. Unfortunately, the recession put an end to that project and it was left unfinished. When Red Group, LLC spotted this site and had the vision to turn it into an upscale urban senior living community it was an abandoned concrete structure resembling an old parking garage. Members of the community often referred to it as an “unfortunate eye sore in the otherwise beautiful neighborhood of Arcadia.”
The Lobby Fireside Area at MorningStar at Arcadia
MorningStar at Arcadia Private Dining
The design team wanted the community to convey a sense of urban modernity yet remain residential in appearance. They demanded a unique offering of amenities reminiscent of a luxurious resort appropriate to the historic Biltmore and Arcadia markets. This four-story community provides 80 suites for assisted living and 30 suites devoted to individualized care for residents with memory impairments.
The Lobby and Front Desk at MorningStar at Arcadia
Kim King, Allied ASID of Thoma-Holec Design chose interior finishes with a subtle elegance which complements the beautiful surrounding mountain views and cityscapes. The design incorporates formal and alternative dining areas, combination theater/chapel, tech library, fitness center complete with spa/massage, a market store, and a multifunction space. An exterior courtyard provides an outdoor dining experience with water features, fireplace with lounge seating, and dramatic lighting for night use.
The MorningStar at Arcadia Outdoor Courtyard
Interior ceiling heights presented the design team with unusual challenges. Those challenges were overcome with extraordinary interior design detailing; angled coffers, specialty painting, and “faux” metal.

Management: MorningStar Senior Living, Denver CO
Architect: ORB Architecture
Interior Design: Thoma-Holec Design, LLC
The MorningStar at Arcadia Memory Care Living Room
8 Trends in Senior Housing
  1. Hospitality inspired common areas - residents desire progressive, refined interiors similar to what they would find in a local resort or restaurant
  2. Communities that offer a diverse level of care – independent, assisted, specialized, and short term rehab are becoming the leaders in the industry
  3. Connectivity and integration into the community - offering life-long learning, intergenerational opportunities, wellness, fitness, and cultural amenities
  4. Innovative product design - sustainable products, products that protect the environment and provide health benefits
  5. “Ritz” Services provided to the residents - respect, dignity, compassion, and fun!
  6. "Aging in Place" are the new buzz words - attract younger residents to a community and provide amenities, design, and services that allow them to age in place
  7. Evidence Based Design - "proof" that a design or product is the correct specification
Under Construction
  • Copper Health at Oro Valley
  • Parker Memory Care by MorningStar, Parker, CO
  • Waterford Grand, Eugene OR
  • Cedar Brook, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Generations at Agritopia, Gilbert, AZ
  • MorningStar at Jordan, Centennial, CO
  • The Colonnade Villas Phase II, Surprise, AZ
  • Royal Oaks Friendship House, Sun City, AZ
  • Ramsey Canyon, Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Nun’s Island, (Memory Conversion) Montreal, Quebec
  • Grandview Terrace (Remodel), Sun City West, AZ