Ribbon cutting: Senior living development, Conway Family Pub slated for site

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The ribbon cutting for a unique addition to the Hattiesburg area designed for active seniors was be held Thursday at The Colony at Turtle Creek Crossing. An open house followed.

The Colony is located at 5173 W. Fourth St. in Hattiesburg across from Turtle Creek Crossing. The community is accessed via a secure gated entrance. Twenty-five star-shaped structures called Carriage Houses line each side of the street, painted in hues of blue and green.

Conway’s Family Pub is onsite, with outdoor sitting in the Sheepfold, and live Irish folk music. A three-barrel craft brewhouse is located there with a full-time brewmaster. The community is not an assisted living facility, nor a retirement home, but rather an active adult environment. Other amenities include exercise, walking paths, gardening, yoga and proximity to the Longleaf Trace.

Each Carriage House one contains five private residential units. The residential units have two bedrooms, a private bath, kitchen, dining area, living room and a covered porch with a fenced backyard.

Darian A. Pierce, a resident of Hattiesburg for 47 years is president of Pierce Realty, Inc., which has property managed several million square feet of tenants, tenant acquisition/retention, tenant representation, acquisition/development of commercial lands, as well as multiple venture capital investment assets across the United States, Lesser Antilles and South America.

He has served as Vice President of Piercon, Inc, a commercial construction company; Vice President of Dennis Pierce, Inc, which is a residential construction company, and Vice President of Bent Creek Utilities, Inc. which managed sewer lagoon systems. To date, Pierce has been involved in the development of 13 subdivisions, with The Colony at Turtle Creek Crossing his 14th development.

He is a member of the Area Development Partnership, the Hattiesburg Area Association of Realtors and was a member of the “Pinnacle Investor Group” which is an arm of the ADP that put together a pool of money to fund international brokerage exposure. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors, where he was nominated and elected as the 2012 Southern Commercial Realtor Director for the State of Mississippi and State Treasurer for 2013, the vice president for the State of Mississippi in 2014 and served as President of Mississippi Commercial Realtors Association for 2015.

Pierce also served on the building committee for St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church, where he was a member for 14 years. He was a charter Director of the Board for R3SM, Inc. that builds homes for the needy, a seven-year Director of the Board for the Oak Grove Athletics Association, Inc. that provides sports for the youth of Lamar County. His family is currently charter members of Saint Fabian Catholic Church, where he has served for the past four years.

He graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1988 and attended the University of Southern Mississippi on the President’s List in Industrial Organizational Psychology. He was voted “Top 40 under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2007 at the age of 37. He is the father of two sons: Dalen Alex, 18, Noah Gabriel, 16, and three daughters: Keagan Lynn, 15, Rylan Sheily, 13, and Arabella Rose, who is 11. He is married to the former Terri Perkins of Oak Grove.

In 2015, Pierce and his sisters were sharing the responsibilities of caregiving for their parents, after their mom was recuperating from nine months of chemotherapy. She had a sudden setback, and it was decided they needed some medical care. They began the difficult task of gathering sources for in home care and information on institutional care. Their choices were few and limiting.

After failing to gain admission to a local skilled nursing facility, they had little hope of a solution. Then a friend suggested they tour another full-service facility in the area. It was nice, with more amenities than they could hope for, and they had a vacancy. They offered prepared meals, activities, caregivers scheduled as needed, as well as physical therapy and others rehab needs met by house call appointments. They all agreed and moved in.

It took their mother a year to rehabilitate. She loved it there and was treated well. She made great friends there too, yet it wasn’t home.

So, they started researching and analyzed what could be done to appease the largest issues of senior living. About that time, Pierce and his wife went on a dream trip to Ireland with their priest, Father Tommy Conway. They learned that an Irish Pub is not a loud drunken bar, as American pubs sometimes personify. Nor was it just an eatery. They are actually family gathering establishments where rich conversation is cultivated, and a meeting of the minds is there for the learning.

They took that knowledge and designed an active senior living development with an authentic Irish Pub onsite, and Father Tommy agreed they could name it after him. Knowing this came with a huge honor and responsibility, Father Tommy accepted it with open arms.

This means that Conway’s Family Pub will have a full menu of choices for every meal, any time of the day. Or the restaurant can deliver meals to the Discovery Room. If a resident doesn’t feel like socializing, they can have it delivered to their private apartment. Suddenly, they no longer had a senior living facility where meals are set at the same time, with no choices. Residents are adults with liberties and independence to eat when, where, and with whom they choose. The restaurant is there to serve.

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