The $40 million Seagrass Village of Panama City Beach features a spacious, three-story building with 86 apartment units for seniors who want to enjoy independent living.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The first “resort quality” senior living community in Bay County is ready to formally open its doors next week.

Seagrass Village of Panama City Beach is located just off the north end of Alf Coleman Road near J.R. Arnold High School. The $40 million project features The Grand, a spacious three-story building with 86 apartment units for seniors who want to enjoy independent living with a full range of amenities and programs, Sales Director Tiffany Jones said.

“This is a resort-style retirement community, the first of its type in the county,” Jones said.

Seagrass Village of Panama City Beach is one of six retirement communities built by the Sage Development Group, a local commercial development firm based in the city. Its other communities are in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and in Fleming Island and Port Orange in Florida.

The project has been under construction since May 2017, but experienced some delays after Hurricane Michael. Work on the apartment building was completed on Aug. 1.

In addition to the three-story apartment building, Seagrass Village includes an adjoining neighborhood of 21 duplex villas that opened for occupancy last September and a “Memory Care” facility nearby for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, Jones said. The villas are currently all occupied, Sales Coordinator Jennifer Haynes said.

“And we have nine residents here (at the apartment building) who have already moved in,” Haynes said.

Constructed on a 17-acre tract with a man-made lake in the rear, the Independent Living apartment building has 86 units — 11 studios, 50 with one bedroom and 25 with two bedrooms.

Residents will find that Seagrass Village “is almost like being on a cruise ship” with the variety of programs and services that come with the monthly rent, Jones said. These include:

— A full-service dining room with a kitchen led by Rafael Sanchez, a chef who worked with the Cooking Channel’s renowned chef, Emeril Lagasse; the kitchen serves three meals a day for residents and a private dining room is available for group events; cooking classes for residents are planned.

— A ground-floor lounge and bar that serves free drinks and beverages at a daily happy hour.

— A spacious patio and outdoor swimming pool (equipped with a lift seat for residents who need assistance).

— A 16-seat movie theater, beauty salon, chapel, library, a “bistro” card room that can be used for dance lessons and activity rooms that can be used for board games, and arts & crafts activities.

— Two fitness rooms — one with exercise machines and the other for exercises and a wellness suite that is planned for available use by visiting doctors, podiatrists and other health practitioners. Wellness programs being planned include water aerobics, tai chi and yoga classes.

— Seagrass Village also features four visitor units in the main building for use by family members visiting residents.

— And the entire complex is “pet friendly,” with a dog park under development just behind the apartments.

Jones said that one unique feature of Seagrass Village is that residents are not obligated to sign fixed leases, but can pay rent on a month-to-month basis.

Studio apartments are $2,350 per month, while the one-bedroom units go for $2,800 and the two-bedrooms units are $4,000.

For that payment, Jones said, residents receive more than just the roof over their heads. The rent also covers all meals, landline telephone and cable TV service, Wi-Fi service, utilities and garbage removal.

The grand opening ceremony for Seagrass Village will take place from 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday. The “cruise-themed” event will include a steel drum band, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and a walking tour of the residences, Jones said. Those wishing to attend should contact Jones at 850-249-1899 or email her at tiffany.jones@seagrassvillagepcb.com.

While the first of its type in the county, Seagrass Village at Panama City Beach will be joined next summer by a second high-end retirement community that is under construction several miles away at the intersection of U.S. 98 and Lyndell Lane. The Blake at Panama City Beach will have 124 residential units, including 76 providing assisted living services and another 48 with enhanced “memory care” programs for seniors requiring that extra level of assistance.