The first clues that Mirabella Portland is a different kind of retirement home are in the basement.
That's where 85-year-old Bob Ivey keeps his stash of madrone, koa and cherry chunks for woodworking projects. The retired CPA brought his lathes, sander, router, clamps, drill press and saws with him when he and his wife, Barbara, moved in shortly after the building opened two years ago.
The Mirabella management didn't just tolerate his hobby, it involved him in planning the woodshop layout during construction in Portland's South Waterfront District. Now he's teaching other residents to make decorative wooden bowls and other projects.
The shop is adjacent to the building's underground parking, where a lift system stacks four cars in the space of two. The system saves room and gives nod to the fact that residents don't often need cars. When they do, attendants retrieve them from the stacks.
Off to one side is a rack of colorful kayaks. Marketing director Adam Payn, in perfect deadpan, says Mirabella is thought to be the first retirement center in the country with resident kayak parking…..
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