The newest senior living community in East Memphis is already building relationships with its neighbors, even before it opens. The staff of Opus East Memphis has developed a strong partnership with its next-door neighbor, Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

The Dixon is one of Memphis’ most treasured cultural attractions. Its 17-acre campus is home to a highly regarded public garden, and the gallery has more than 2,000 objects, including French and American Impressionist paintings and significant holdings of German and English porcelain.

Opus East Memphis fostered a strong partnership with the Dixon, serving as a key sponsor for 2022 events in April, including the Sweet Sixteen exhibition and the Memphis Flower Show, featuring the Memphis Garden Club’s biannual floral arrangement competition. Staff members say that residents will enjoy the benefits of the partnership with the Dixon.

“We’re just steps from the Dixon, so our residents will be able to walk over to the Dixon or take a quick ride in our shuttle bus,” said Beth Robertson, who is executive director of Opus East Memphis.

When completed, Opus East Memphis, located at 1029 East Cherry Road — right next door to the Dixon – will feature 237 total units, including 47 cottages, 107 independent-living apartments, 63 assisted-living apartments, and 20 memory-care residences.

“We think it’s essential to be good neighbors to the organizations that make Memphis the great community that it is, and the partnership with Dixon is a great example of that,” said Kim Tanner, director of sales for Opus East Memphis.

The proximity to the Dixon will offer residents another avenue, right next door, for lifelong learning. The Dixon organizes and presents eight to 10 exhibitions every year, covering diverse themes appealing to visitors of all ages. Residents may also easily attend programs at the Dixon, such as tai chi classes, lunchtime meditation, or yoga in the garden. Studies suggest that participation in these kinds of lifelong learning activities is a key contributor to healthy aging.

“Our community will become home to our residents, many of whom place a high value on education and lifelong learning,” said Robertson. “Like every Arbor community, we’ll have a full complement of amenities and activities at Opus East Memphis. But being next door to the Dixon will expand the range of opportunities available to residents even further.”

Opus East Memphis is operated by The Arbor Company. Whenever Arbor breaks ground for a new senior living community, the local launch team immediately begins to build relationships with its neighbors, well before construction is complete. That’s a win for the Dixon, too.

“We love the idea of having many more neighbors just across the fence at Opus East Memphis,” said Kevin Sharp, who is Linda W. and S. Herbert Rhea Director of the Dixon Gallery & Gardens. “The Dixon is one of the most beautiful places in the city of Memphis, and it’s at its very best when it is animated by visitors and serving its community.”

Another bonus: Given the Dixon’s proximity, Opus residents will also enjoy additional options for getting fresh air and exercise and simply enjoying nature. According to the American Psychological Association, a growing body of research suggests that nature offers benefits for both physical and psychological well­ being. Walking in a natural setting, for example, can boost a person’s mood and contribute to happiness. Similarly, a University of Chicago review concluded that spending time in nature can act as “a balm for our busy brains,” improving working memory, cognitive flexibility, and attentional control.

The Dixon began with the vision of two exceptional citizens of Memphis, Margaret Oates Dixon (1900-1974) and Hugo Norton Dixon (1892-1974), who bequeathed their home, gardens, and collection of French Impressionist paintings for the enjoyment and education of future generations. Distinguished by its diverse and innovative programs in the arts and horticulture, the Dixon prioritizes learning and inspiration for the community. Having Opus East Memphis next door gives the Dixon yet another connection to the community.

“We are very excited about this relationship,” said Sharp. “Arbor has already demonstrated its real support for the Dixon, and that bodes well going forward. I think it’s going to be a very reciprocal relationship with great synergy. The residents of Opus are going to enjoy having a cultural and a horticultural amenity so nearby, and we’re going to enjoy welcoming them.”

Schedule a Tour