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Perhaps you've considered spending your golden years in St. George or Palm Springs. How about South Jordan?

The Daybreak development there has been named one of the 50 best master-planned communities in the U.S. by Where to Retire magazine. In a news release, the publication cited Daybreak's fishing lake and Energy Star-certified homes as attractive amenities for retirees.

"That's great," Daybreak marketing manager Cameron Jackson said when told of the listing. "I think it has a lot to do with the level of activity that we try to create in the community."

He pointed to Daybreak's Garden Park neighborhood, which caters to those 55 and older with such features as main-floor living spaces and condos with elevators. Shops, TRAX rail service and trails are within easy walking distances of Garden Park, Jackson said. He added that the area's HOA includes yard maintenance, "which is a big plus for people in this age group especially if they like to travel.

"I think a lot of [residents], they are wanting to stay active to maintain health. We've created ways to make that easy."

The walkability aspect was a big part of the attraction for 69-year-old Carol Simpson and husband Ed. The Simpsons moved from a home in East Midvale two years ago to a patio home in Garden Park, and she says she feels happy and secure in the neighborhood.

"There's a certain aura I can't even describe here," Simpson said. "It's cute, it's fun. We went to several other places and it just seemed like a bunch of old people."

No question, being older in South Jordan puts you in the minority. Just 7 percent of the city's 56,132 residents are over age 65, so the designation as a retirement hotspot came as a bit of a surprise to city leaders, says South Jordan City spokesman Chip Dawson.

"We weren't aware that we were in the running," Dawson said. "We're taking it in stride as another indication of the growth that's happening in the city."

Last year, Census data showed South Jordan's population grew at the second-fastest rate among all large American cities, with the majority of residents falling into the late 20s to early 40s bracket. Twenty-five percent of the population is school-age children.

Dawson says that as the city continues to grow, the need for senior living communities will grow as well, and he expects the city to capitalize on the Where to Retire listing.

"We think South Jordan has a lot to offer all the way around," he said. "We do hope this will attract more people to seeing what South Jordan is all about."

Daybreak's Jackson says 150 homes and condos have been built so far in the development's Garden Park neighborhood, with a plan to build out 500 units.

Twitter: @jnpearce

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