Worth the wait list

Vibrant Becketwood in Minneapolis is not your typical senior-living community.

During the summer months, Becketwood residents practice t’ai chi chih at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. Photo by Don Darnutzer
During the summer months, Becketwood residents practice t’ai chi chih at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul. Photo by Don Darnutzer

When Becketwood Cooperative was founded on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1986, the founders reportedly told the architects: “We do not want a brick box!”

And, indeed, the independent-living community in Minneapolis — 211 units in all — maintains a distinctive feel to this day with Tudor-style architecture, including the use of wood and brick, angled hallways and uniquely shaped (not boxy) floor plans.

Thanks to steel and concrete structural supports, the units, which can include decks, balconies, bay windows, fireplaces and vaulted ceilings, are also quiet.

Becketwood, being a cooperative community, is owned entirely by resident members, who participate in almost every aspect of the community, said Kari Tweiten Macdonald, Becketwood’s marketing coordinator.

That includes serving on committees, planning programs and excursions, assisting with grounds keeping and stocking the in-house self-service pantry.

“Our members say our supportive, welcoming community is one of the biggest reasons they move here,” Tweiten Macdonald said.

Becketwood’s website hints at the community’s unique member culture, which is known for being popular with older adults who are active, artistic, energetic and, above all, involved: “We’re a lively, eclectic and spirited group of people who believe in cooperative, democratic living. Bring your energy, talents and skills to add to the enriching Becketwood mix. This spirit of involvement and participation is a key component of active independent senior living here.”

The cooperative, which prides itself on rarely imposing special assessments for maintenance and repairs, also provides regular allowances toward flooring, paint and appliances. Residents also are encouraged to remodel their units as elaborately or as minimally as they see fit with help from in-house refurbishment staff, who offer vendor coordination and assistance.

Another big draw?

Becketwood Cooperative

“Location! Location! Location!” Tweiten Macdonald said. “We are located on 12 wooded acres with gorgeous gardens, trees and green spaces everywhere you look.”

Members also enjoy riverfront walking/biking trails that provide access to both sides of the Mississippi River, including a 0.9-mile walk to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis or a two-mile jaunt to the heart of Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul.

Becketwood Cooperative

Where: 4300 W. River Parkway S., Minneapolis

Opened: 1986

For ages: 55 and up

Levels of care: Becketwood offers only independent living. Individual members/residents may bring in their own health services.

Number of units: 211 units with 14 different floor plans

Openings? There are no-risk waiting lists for each unit style.

Cost range for a single resident: $90,000 (for a 570-square-foot 1 bedroom/1 bath) to $450,000 (for a 1,630 square-foot 3 bedroom/2 bath). Monthly operations charges range from $750 to $1,660 per month and include everything but electricity, personal insurance and extras such as parking and meals. Because Becketwood is a “market-rate cooperative,” unit purchase prices are set by the sellers.

Property owner: Becketwood’s members are the owners. Becketwood contracts with Episcopal Homes for property management services.

Info: becketwood.com or 612-722-4077


  • Exceptional enrichment programs and a wide variety of excursions
  • Dining room with gourmet-casual cuisine
  • Catering available
  • Several community rooms for hosting parties or meetings
  • Member garden plots
  • Workshop and craft/art center
  • Game room and fitness center with classes such as yoga, Pilates, Silver Sneakers and more
  • Up-to-date library staffed by members (including many former librarians)
  • Self-service convenience store
  • Coffee shop
  • Historic chapel with non-denominational services (also available for member use)
  • Hair and nail salon
  • Guest rooms
  • Pets allowed
  • Underground parking.

Do you know of a new or interesting senior housing facility in the Twin Cities that might make a good Housing Spotlight? Write Minnesota Good Age editor Sarah Jackson at [email protected] with the subject line Housing Spotlight.