“The Home” was often used as a euphemism for punishment on the old television show “The Golden Girls,” but that isn’t the way Trinity Lifestyles Management officials describe their new 99-unit community in Grayson.

The company was joined by officials from Solomon Development, Choate Construction, the city of Grayson and Gwinnett Chamber on Thursday to break ground on its Dogwood Forest assisted living facility.

The luxury housing-style community, which will be located across from Starling Elementary School on Lawrenceville Highway, will be Trinity’s eighth such development in Georgia and its ninth overall. The $26 million will feature balconies, courtyards and restaurant-style dining areas with waiters and menus.

It will even have an HVAC system with UV lighting that can kill viruses and negative ions that can kill bacteria and boost a person’s mood.

“It’s going to be the big mansion,” said Trinity CEO Al Holbrook, whose wife, Laurie, oversees the design of the company’s communities.

Dogwood Forest is the first of two assisted living communities that Trinity plans to build in Gwinnett County over the next few years. Chief Operating Officer Vickie Curl said the company will break ground on a similar community in Sugar Hill near the end of the year.

The Grayson community is expected to open around the middle of 2017.

The company’s other locations are in Gainesville, Cumming, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Acworth, Fayetteville and Stockbridge. Officials are expecting big things from their Grayson location, though.

Gwinnett Chamber Senior Vice President of Membership Vince DeSilva said Trinity’s decision to build communities in Gwinnett County is a natural fit because the county’s growing senior population.

“This has been happening for quite some time and you’re starting to see now a response to the aging population, but we’re still a long way away form where we need to be to support Gwinnett’s community,” DeSilva said.

Holbrook and Curl said the visibility of the site and the vibe of the community were factors in their decision to build Dogwood Forest in the city. Trinity is a company that draws inspiration from the faith-based community. It had officials from Anchor Church perform a blessing at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s a solid family community, and you can tell with the church participation that it’s faith-based and I love the fact that you’ve got a multi-million-dollar school across the street for inter-generational opportunities,” Holbrook said. “The (40,000-car) traffic count here is unbelievable because 50 percent of our move-ins are drive-ups.”

Curl called the Grayson site a “very strong location” to build Dogwood Forest.

“We love the way that Lawrenceville flanks us, Loganville flanks us and we’re right here in the center of Grayson,” she said.

Seventy-four of the community’s units will be for assisted living care while the other 25 will be memory care apartments set aside for people suffering from conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. The average age of residents is expected to be about 85 years old, but Trinity officials said some residents could be as young as their late 40s and living with the early onset of a serious medical condition.

“If you would transition from the assisted living into our memory care, you would see no difference in the quality of the environment,” Curl said. “It’s just a smaller environment and it serves that resident population better.”

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson said the community and its residents will be “part of the Grayson experience” and that city officials are excited about the development.

“Dogwood Forest is going to be an incredible asset to our citizens and an outstanding part of our landscape that will showcase the standard of quality development that makes Grayson a remarkable city,” she said. “We are pleased that the jobs created by this facility will further our live, work and play initiatives and (we) look forward to welcoming and introducing the new residents to our city.”

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