Good for a senior’s spirit

Based in Minnetonka, The Waters was recently recognized as an industry leader by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.


The Waters of White Bear Lake is located in a scenic spot just south of downtown White Bear Lake, a cute town with a fabulous quilt shop, book store, bakery, destination restaurants and a summer farmer’s market — you might say a great place to retire.

The Waters was designed by high-end hotel and apartment teams and in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Earl Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing, so they’ve thought of everything.

Based in Minnetonka, The Waters was recently recognized as an industry leader by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. According to the magazine, it’s the fourth-largest senior living company and the third largest woman-owned business in the 24-county metro area, not to mention one of the top real estate developers in the Twin Cities.

My biggest impressions while visiting the relatively new White Bear Lake location, which opened in June 2016, were the light-filled spaces and the resident-centered staff, including a cheery concierge and many others willing to chat about real topics.

During my visit, I spoke with one resident (on the elevator, no less!) who told me she’ll save hundreds of dollars in 2019 thanks to a recent visit by a Medicare expert, who took time to work personally with residents after a recent speaking engagement on site. The Medicare talk was such a hit, The Waters senior-living consultant promised to bring the speaker back.

I also could see many ways this place, designed with well-being in mind, could be good for a senior’s spirit: Its event and activities calendar is resident-driven with walking clubs, book clubs, games, movies, dances, BBQs, holiday parties and regular trips to local shopping and restaurants. I was especially drawn to the onsite Waters Academy concept, offering higher education courses taught by professors and experts, and monthly opportunities to engage in education on a variety of topics. After all, we’re never done learning!

And how nice it would be to invite friends or family to stop by for a lunch visit with a tasty menu, have my hair all done and not even have to put on a coat.

Bonus: During the winter months, The Waters offers a trial run to future residents who want make sure the community really is a good fit.

Karen Ritz is creator of, an online community featuring activities, crafts, recipes, destinations and events for Twin Cities grandparents. She’s actively thinking about housing alternatives — especially when she’s shoveling snow or trying to start the mower.


  • Well-being studio
  • Creative arts studio
  • Community room
  • Private dining room (seats 12)
  • Licensed nurse available 24/7
  • Concierge service
  • Guest suite
  • Memory care
  • Outpatient care
  • Full-service salon and spa
  • Full-service restaurant with a full-time executive chef, plus a cafe and pub
  • Whole-body fitness room with yoga, balance, strength training and more
  • Porches, patios, grill and professionally landscaped gardens and outdoor spaces
  • Pet friendly

The Waters

WHERE: 3800 Hoffman Road, White Bear Lake


AGES WELCOME: 55 and older; the average age is 82 so far.

NUMBER OF UNITS & SIZE OPTIONS: 106 units range from 525-square-foot studios to 1,230-square-foot 2-bedroom/2-bath units with balconies.

COST RANGE FOR A SINGLE RESIDENT: $1,995–$4,125 per month includes an emergency pendant, wifi and cable, in-unit washer/dryer, light housekeeping, appliance maintenance and a $275 monthly dining stipend. A la carte health care and memory care are available for additional fees.

CLAIM TO FAME: Programming and amenities at The Waters actively address the six dimensions that contribute to well-being — health, a feeling of security, community, engagement with others, a sense of purpose and connectedness with one’s environment. The idea is for residents to leverage their strengths, discover new possibilities and make meaningful contributions within a thriving community.

The Waters Academy and Wellbeing Programs provide higher education courses on site taught by professors and experts, and monthly opportunities to engage in education on a variety of topics related to personal health and wellness.

PROPERTY OWNER: The Waters, based in Minnetonka

OTHER FACILITIES IN MINNESOTA: The Waters boasts 11 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, including its newest properties in Excelsior, Minnesota, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

INFO: 651-313-6440 or