Couple comes out of retirement to build senior apartments

Story and photos by Anthony Welch

Max and Georgene Nazarenus may finally retire (for real this time) with the completion of their new senior apartment building – Park Manor East.

The couple has retired a few times prior, but always seem to find a new venture or project that keeps them busy.

“Our friends said, “You’re 83. Why don’t you kick back and enjoy your retirement,’” Georgene said. “The challenge always beckons.”

Georgene’s mother Viola Stalzle owned and operated the Park Manor Apartments, a senior 55-plus building located at the end of Monument Street just west of Cascade Avenue, for 40 years. When she passed away 10 years ago, Georgene inherited half of the property and purchased her sister’s half.

The property included vacant land, located just east of Park Manor.

Max and Georgene owned and operated two successful caramel candy stores in malls located in Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming.

“We did those two stores for 10 years. It was very, very good for us,” Georgene said. “It’s a tremendous amount of work because you’re manufacturing everything.”

The two ventured into that business after Max retired from the Army, where he was an aviator. The couple moved around quite a bit during Max’s military career.

“We bounced all around. We lived in nine different states; some of them two or three different times,” Georgene said. “We were overseas for eight years – Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and Germany.”

The couple had just retired for a second time, after selling the stores, and moved to south Texas.

“We went down there and stayed there for 10 years,” Georgene said. “We fished and played golf every day. But then, we were homesick for Colorado.

Georgene grew up in Rocky Ford, and Max grew up just a few hours down the road east in Holly. The two didn’t meet, however, until they were at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Once the couple found themselves back in Colorado, it wasn’t long before Max got restless with retirement. He decided to build 10 townhomes down on Tabor Place near Eighth Street. Then when Georgene acquired the Park Manor property, the vacant land started to bother Max.

About three years ago, Max decided to do something with the land.

“It was something to do,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, we ought to do it because it didn’t make sense to leave (the land) there doing nothing.’”

With the aid of architect David Barber and Art Klein Construction, the Max and Georgene broke ground on the land. Now, a few years later, the building is completed and Park Manor East is now accepting applications for residents.

The building features 20 one-bedroom units overlooking Monument Valley Park and Monument Creek. The units, sized 880 to 1,060 square feet, feature tall, nine-foot ceilings, hardwood-style flooring, covered parking, storage units and spacious private balconies.

While Park Manor East was quite the endeavor for Max and Georgene, there was some joy in the process.

“It was a challenge. You feel a feeling of accomplishment,” Georgene added. “At times it was fun. There’s satisfaction in it.”

For more information on the apartments, visit www.parkmanoraptscospgs.com.

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