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Over Coffee

A Different Kind of Intergenerational Town
By
Oct 9, 2008 - 9:46:14 AM

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I learned something interesting from Beverly Parker while talking with her Saturday morning at SaVa Café in Apollo Beach. As always, SaVa’s owner Sy Momenzadeh and his staff were more than ready to oblige with a table for interviewing even in the middle of a busy day.
BEVERLY PARKER


I’ve known Beverly for almost 20 years, from the time she first began her local business career working for a former Sun City Center developer and then partnering to open her own place – Coleman Connection Realty – with Trudy Coleman, who has since retired.

At first, Beverly thought she would retire too, but then decided that not only wasn’t practical, but also that she would miss working with people every day.

The problem was she didn’t know what she would do if she got out of real estate.
Right about that time, her friend, Cindy Quiroz of Cindy’s Estate Sales died and Cindy’s husband Randy offered all Cindy’s stock and equipment to Beverly.
“It was the right time for a change,” Beverly explained. “And the funny thing is that I still work with so many of the same people that I did in real estate.”
That’s because a dedicated clientele is built on relationships, she said.
 
Beverly has three women who clean and polish and stage every estate sale. “We don’t do garage sale business. It’s always the best quality.”

Having formerly worked with people who were buying and selling homes, and now with those whose family members have moved or died or had to go into assisted living facilities, Beverly says she has noticed a growing trend: second generation Sun City Center retirees.

“There are a lot of children of residents retiring there now,” she said. “Linn Hanson has even spoken to me about them forming some kind of a club.”

Linn told me later on the phone that her parents had moved to Sun City Center in 1975, after trying winters in Sun City, Arizona, Brownsville, Texas, and Florida’s East Coast.

Her dad started looking for a retirement home at 61, and finally, four years later was sitting in a Clearwater real estate office when he asked the Realtor where she and her husband (who was about to retire from MacDill Air Force Base) planned to retire.

“She said ‘Sun City Center,’ and my dad told her he’d already tried that and didn’t like it,” Linn said. “So the woman called the developer and they arranged what they called a week of Sundays, with a stay at the hotel, and golf and dinners, all in exchange for 90 minutes of their time (to hear their sales pitch).”
The approach worked perfectly.

“It was so funny,” Linn continued. “My dad said ‘I was told to go to the right side of Florida, so I tried the East Coast. But the right side of Florida is here.’ I never forgot that and my husband and I became property owners here ourselves in 1998.”

Linn’s dad died in 1988 and her mom in 2000, but that isn’t the end of their second-generation story.

Linn’s husband, Jeff, moved his mother to Sun City Center as well, and at 97 she is still living the good life with the help of in-home assistance at The Courtyards.
“Now we’re both second generation,” Linn said.

Linn’s brother Jack, who lives in Tennessee, also owns property in Sun City Center. He comes down and takes care of it, but still rents it out. Someday though, Linn expects he too will move to the town the whole family has grown to love.
Beverly had several other examples, including a large family made up of brothers and sisters and cousins who came at separate times and all bought houses.
“Just as an example, the Isenbergs walked into my office about 15 years ago to talk about their mother and they ended up buying here too. And the Dillsmiths, they’re second generation. There are so many now I expect Linn will get that club going soon,” Beverly said.

Having covered news all over South County, including Sun City Center, for more than 25 years, I thought I knew its demographics pretty well. But I didn’t realize there was a trend of second-generation Sun Citians until Beverly pointed it out to me.

*Perhaps you have something you’d like to share. Or maybe you’d rather tell the community about your favorite charity or cause: or sound off about something you think needs change. That’s what “Over Coffee” is about. It really doesn’t matter whether we actually drink any coffee or not (although I probably will). It’s what you have to say that’s important. E-mail me any time at penny@observernews.net and suggest a meeting place. No matter what’s going on, I’m usually available to share just one more cup.


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