Inside Look at “The James” Former School Turned Senior Living in Ferndale

Inside Look at “The James” Former School Turned Senior Living in Ferndale

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 26, 2019)

Ferndale, MI – Jack and Therese Moran met when they attended St. James Catholic School back in the 1940s.  In 1948 they married and had a family, including two daughters – Nancy Lareau and Terry Tyner – who were on hand for the ribbon cutting of the senior living facility where there parents would be moving.  Located in the former St. James School building, “The James” is an example of adaptive reuse that is particularly exciting for older adults with memories of the school.

“This is great,” Lareau said.  “All they need is their TV and their clothes and they’ll be all set.”

“I know this means a lot to them,” Tyner said.

The James is located at 22111 Woodward Ave, next to Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish which was formerly St. James.

The Archdiocese of Detroit sold the school property to J.S. Capitol group who did the construction.  Old classrooms and offices were converted into 105 luxury senior apartments, as well as many amenities including meal programs, a wellness center for visiting medical professionals, a hair salon/barber shop, computer bar, library, laundry facilities, a game room and other areas for residents to socialize.  There is also a shuttle services.

Room plans start at “The Fern” level – which is a 470 sq. foot studio, up to “The Dale” which is a two bedroom with 1060 sq. feet of space.

The ribbon-cutting took place April 18, and residents have since begun moving in.  Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter was on hand to help them cut the ribbon, commending the management team on being able “to adaptively reuse this amazing school space for something that frankly is just as needed in our community which is, more housing for seniors.”

“We have a lot of great things about our community,” the Mayor said.  “But those of us on Council we’ve been talking for a long time about how we are primarily a single family housing community, and you get to a certain age… and seniors want other options. Options that are lower maintenance. And so, what a great way to reuse and adapt such an important historic building in our town than for senior housing? I applaud you. It’s beautiful. You’ve done a great job. Preserved something that’s very special to us, continue to be part of our community for decades to come.”

For pricing, interested parties can contact The James  at (248) 554-3600  or

Check them out online at

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